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'irresponsible' Bus trip from North to Dundrum Shopping Centre cancelled after online uproar

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Dundrum Shopping Centre

Dundrum Shopping Centre

Dundrum Shopping Centre

A NORTHERN Irish coach tour promising a “relaxing” trip to Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin has been cancelled after the mall stated the visit was “not in line with Government guidance”.

GD Tours had posted an advertisement online calling for shoppers to board at Derry for a shopping trip to Dundrum Shopping Centre despite Covid-19 restrictions in the North.

The post read: “With shops closing in the north tomorrow at 12 midnight! The south is reopening on Monday 30th. 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!! This is going on Saturday the 5th of December. Seats £25pp...”

The coach company posted a Northern Irish mobile phone number for bookings and this was shared extensively online. The ad gained a huge reaction from those concerned about such a trip being organised.

One woman on Twitter directly asked Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to step in. She wrote: “@LeoVaradkar please stop this from happening.”

Another tweeter wrote: “I assume this hasn’t the support of the shopping centre. It’s irresponsible of those organising it.”

And another chimed in: “As someone who works in this shopping centre, providing a service for vulnerable people, wheelchairs, scooters etc… not happy.”

One social media user questioned if the ad was real, writing: “Is this a spoof? Can't leave our county for non-essential trips but can cross multiple counties to drive from Derry to Dublin?

“In that case can I go to Tipperary if I charter a bus from Derry and fill it with my friends?”

A Dundrum Town Centre spokesperson told independent.ie: “The safety and well-being of our colleagues, customers, and retailers is our number one priority at Dundrum Town Centre, and please rest assured we take our responsibility very seriously.

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“Trips such as the one referenced are currently not in line with Government guidance, nor are they affiliated with the centre.

“We look forward to welcoming customers back to the centre, and all visits must be in line with Government guidance. We ask that all visitors are responsible and consider others when visiting.”

Attempts were made to contact GD Tours.

A text message from the contact number advertised responded: “This trip won’t be going ahead.”

On Facebook, the bus company is advertised as being based in Dungiven, Co Derry.

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