DUBLIN retailers are reporting a highly successful Christmas trade period ahead of one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
The head of an organisation representing thousands of businesses in the city said the Christmas trade has been "probably the best we have had since the recession began".
Dublin Town chief Richard Guiney said nearly 600,000 people are expected to flood into the city centre both today and next Saturday.
Ruth Lonergan and her daughters Hannah (19) and Claudia (14) came up to the city from Navan yesterday for "a little bit of lunch, Kris Kindles and Christmas shopping".
"Funnily enough it is not that manic at all. Grafton Street is quite quiet. We were in Henry Street first. It built up a little bit but it is quieter than I thought," said Ruth.
"We are shopping a lot more locally I have to say. We try and shop in Navan town just to support the local businesses."
Danielle Maher (37) and Sean Connolly (44) from Rathfarnham said they came into town early to avoid the crowds because the shops tend to "get a bit mad" outside of work hours.
The pair said for the most part they had gotten good value for money.
"We spent a lot of money on two photo frames and then they charged us €1 just for a bag, but other than that there is loads of sales on. There is good value around," said Danielle.
Marie Bobrowski (60) from Stillorgan said she had finished all her shopping days ago but she came in yesterday to give daughter Helena O'Neill (31) a hand.
"I think I got good value. It was very easy, I knew what I wanted. I went in. I got it. Done," said Helena.
"I do have a budget. My husband and I, we said €50 because we only got married in November so with my family we are just saying nothing too crazy this year.
"I would normally start in October. I love Christmas shopping."