This retro news report of Christmas shoppers smuggling goods across the NI border is a must watch

Crafty shoppers from border towns smuggled goods when customs went on strike

Tia Clarke


Tia Clarke


IDDT Customs Video

Christmas shoppers from border towns in Newry back in 1984

A retro video from BBC Northern Ireland has been doing the rounds on social media this week. And it's sure to give Dundalk viewers a good laugh. 

The footage from 1984 shows throngs of Christmas shoppers from border towns like Dundalk descending on shops in Newry to avail of cheap goods and take advantage of the fact that customs officials in the Irish Republic were on strike for the day. 

The cunning shoppers were shown with trollies heaving with bargain stereos and booze - all of which could be brought back to the Republic of Ireland, without having to pay any import duty. 

One off-licence owner even told the BBC NI reporters he expected to sell 2,500 cans that day.

And judging by the mounds of Harp larger on display, he was certainly prepared.  

A couple, who had a trolley packed with bottles of spirits and beer, told a reporter that they were "very slightly" taking advantage of the fact that there was no border patrol for the day.

Southern shoppers stocking up on booze in Newry 

The man and his wife tried to hide their smirks when they insisted that their massive haul of booze was not over the duty-free limit for the day.

The video currently has over 108,000 views and had many people reminiscing about "smuggling" goods across the border and into the south.  

One commenter wrote: "Love it , when we bought bikes in Mullen Mart we used to simply cycle across the border. The less said about that smuggled Amstrad video player, the better." 

Other commenters took a more topical approach. One man wrote: "Memories. Now sort Brexit out."