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Derry bus company apologises after advertising shopping trips to Dublin during NI lockdown

A TD branded the mooted trip a “disgrace”.

Image: Niall Carson

A DERRY BASED bus company has issued an apology and cancelled plans to facilitate shopping trips to Dublin while coronavirus restrictions are in place in Northern Ireland. 

Non-essential retail shops in the North are set to shut tomorrow as authorities attempt to get to grips with the spread of Covid-19.

With stores in the Republic of Ireland set to be reopened next week, GD Tours advertised bus trips on Facebook promising customers a “relaxing day” in Dundrum Town Centre shopping mall:

Let’s get seats sold and have a relaxing day to the biggest shopping centre in Ireland!! With over 100 designer shops under one roof!

The mooted trip was set to take place on Saturday 5 December and it included an additional stop at a service station en route.

The Facebook post unleashed a swirl of negative reactions, prompting the phrase “Dundrum” to trend on Twitter in Ireland.

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond, whose constituency includes the Dundrum area, branded the ad a “disgrace” and warned that it contravened Covid-19 guidelines.

“I’ll be contacting Dundrum Town Centre to ensure such ‘tours’ are being discouraged,” he added.

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richmond-1 Source: Twitter

The shopping centre issued a statement saying that it was not affiliated with the bus trip and such journeys are not in-line with government guidance. “We ask that all visitors are responsible and consider others when visiting,” it said.

GD Tours subsequently cancelled the trip, saying that after “double checking” travel restrictions it had came to the conclusion that it would not be possible.

“Thank you for all the interest,” the company said. “If I have offended anyone in any way I, again, am sorry.”

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Ceimin Burke

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