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Give Them Credit Cork shop bypasses alcohol minimum pricing law with clever credit note hack

Sam’s Gala is offering customers a credit note to the value of a case of beer if they purchase €30 worth of plastic cups instore

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Sam's Gala in Dunmanway is offering customers a credit note for the value of a €47 slab of beer when they buy €30 of plastic glasses. (Sam's Gala/Facebook)

Sam's Gala in Dunmanway is offering customers a credit note for the value of a €47 slab of beer when they buy €30 of plastic glasses. (Sam's Gala/Facebook)

Sam's Gala in Dunmanway is offering customers a credit note for the value of a €47 slab of beer when they buy €30 of plastic glasses. (Sam's Gala/Facebook)

A Cork shop has found a genius way to bypass Ireland’s new Minimum Unit Pricing law.

Sam’s Gala in Dunmanway, West Cork, is offering customers a credit note to the value of a case of beer if they purchase €30 worth of plastic cups instore, which can then be redeemed in accordance with strict terms and conditions in-store.

The shop shared a photo of a sign on social media that reads: “Buy 24 Plastic Glasses for €30 and receive a €47.34 credit note absolutely free. See instore for terms and conditions.”

The credit note of €47.34 happens to be the price of a slab of beer or cider, which cost considerably less before the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing earlier this month.

Shop owner Colm O’Sullivan has received heaps of online and in-store support after introducing the offer, insisting that the credit note is not illegal, as it can be used to buy other items, such as a hoover or a mop.

“I've already been called a hero, asked to run for election and likened to my Irish hero of all time, Michael Collins, and it's only been two hours since the offer was posted,” said Colm on Tuesday evening.

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Slabs of beer on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork (Sam's Gala/Facebook)

Slabs of beer on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork (Sam's Gala/Facebook)

Slabs of beer on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork (Sam's Gala/Facebook)

“I haven't sold one single slab of beer all week since the minimum alcohol pricing came into effect and in two hours, I have sold nine slabs and even a mop.

“I suppose it's one way to get rid of all these post-Christmas plastic glasses we have in stock.

“In the last few months, people were told the price of whiskey and other spirits would increase a lot and you wouldn't be able to buy a bottle of wine for less than €7 but the huge hike to cans of beer wasn't really mooted, in my mind.

“Ahead of the New Year, I sat down and studied the legislation and did the maths. And did the maths again because I couldn't believe the astronomical change in the price of a crate of beer from €26 to €47.

“As far as I'm concerned, I reread the legislation and I am not breaking any law in offering a credit note with every sale of 24 plastic glasses. I have strict and lengthy terms and conditions in store which have to be adhered to when redeeming the offer.

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“The law states that vouchers can't be used to buy alcohol but there is no mention of credit notes and I'm not in any way associating this promotion with alcohol solely as other products are on offer too.

“This increase in prices in alcohol goes directly to the retailer and I'm not proud of that, so I see this as my way of giving it back by offering value in a range of products.

“We're not sucking it up, the hoover does that and we always try to mop up prices here as much as we can,” he added.

As of January 4th, alcohol products in the Republic must be sold at a legal floor price based on the amount of alcohol it contains.

The move means that an average bottle of wine cannot be sold for under €7.40, while a can of beer now costs at least €1.70.

Spirits have also increased in price, with vodka and gins now costing a minimum of €20.70 for a 700ml bottle.

Ireland has joined the likes of Scotland, Wales, the Russian Federation and parts of Australia and Canada introducing the move.

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