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Shoppers brave the elements to stock up before locking down

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Dale Conroy with her shopping

Dale Conroy with her shopping

Dale Conroy with her shopping

Relentless rain battered shoppers yesterday as they attempted to stock up before lockdown.

In Galway, Dale Conroy battled the elements and the crowds in Smyths Toys on Headford Road to ensure she had Christmas presents for the ones she loves.

"I don't think I have ever had my shopping done in October but the lockdown is coming and I wanted to make sure I had presents for my twin niece and nephew," she said.

"Anything else, like a voucher for adults, I can get at a later stage but it was important to me that I had them all sorted.

"I can relax now that I have them. I didn't relish going shopping in December when the lockdown might be lifted and having to go out in a big crowd. It wasn't too bad today, I was expecting it to be worse."

Jennifer Alani, from Galway, was relieved to have the bulk of her shopping done as she steered a full trolley of toys towards her car in the car park.

"I'm really glad my shopping is almost done. Thoughts of a six-week lockdown inspired me to come out today."

David Brickland wanted to get "a few bits" before he and his partner prepare to isolate for six weeks.

"I work in hospitality so I finished up last week. Just before everything shuts I wanted to make sure we had everything we needed. My partner is ­finishing tomorrow so we just have to get through the next few weeks. It's weird we are back here again.

"My plan as regards Christmas shopping is to do it online.

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"I want to support local as I work in hospitality and I know how important it is."

Elsewhere in the city, Honour Cure and her boyfriend Denis Brosnan decided to brave the rain and pick up a few essentials before the shops close.

"I suppose it's our last opportunity for a while to come to the shopping centre. I just hope it's only six weeks," said Mr Brosnan.

The couple didn't bother with Christmas shopping just yet. "I'm the kind of person who could do it the day before, so I'm not too worried about that yet," he added.

Ms Cure said: "We wanted to come into town and see the crowds and feel the buzz around the place before we go back to the weird calm of lockdown."

The advice for parents hoping to buy a bicycle for their child this Christmas is not to be fixated on one brand.

Louise Keane, of Dublin-based Joe Daly Cycles, said there have been "massive issues" with supplies.

One major children's brand it stocks has said it will not be able to deliver bikes until the middle of January.

She advised parents: "If you find a bike in the right size, buy it straight away, don't ­hesitate."

A number of toy shops across the country have suspended their online ordering system.

However, one retailer not experiencing any issues is Myriam Doyle, who founded Mimitoys in 2004.

The online-only retailer sells educational toys. Ms Doyle said that while there were some delays in the arrival of stock in March and April, there are no delays currently.

Aldi is limiting the sale of certain Christmas toys to one per person.

The supermarket chain will have 'store marshals' who will manage a ticketing system and ensure queues are orderly and that social distancing is strictly observed.

Meanwhile, Ryan Kelly qualifies for the title of the most optimistic trader today as he opens his new Heartbreak Social Club tattoo business for one day only.

Putting the finishing touches to his new business on Dublin's Drury Street, Mr Kelly said: "I am delighted to be opening, even if it is for just one day before lockdown starts.

"I would have been very shocked if lockdown didn't happen and I'm delighted to open because my fear was that the work wouldn't have been finished and we'd have another week of work to do in December but now, we are all ready to start.

"We are opening for the one day and we are all full, with six of us working and we will do on average two to three appointments each."

In Terenure, south Dublin, the scissors were in full flight as customers went for 'the shorter, the better' approach.

Ciaran Nevin's hair salon will be open for 14 hours today to meet the demand for ­eleventh-hour haircuts.

When he closes for six weeks at 10pm tonight, he will have a waiting list into December and beyond.

"Our phones have been ringing for days with people looking to book appointments," said Mr Nevin.


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