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The Finnerty family at Macy's.

Irish still flocking for shopping in New York

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The Finnerty family at Macy's.

They had just completed a Caribbean cruise and a few days in Las Vegas and were spending the remaining four days of their honeymoon in the Big Apple, mainly for a spot of shopping but also to see some Manhattan sights. 

It was the first time the pair had ever been to New York, and although they were more enamored with Las Vegas, they were enjoying their time in the city and enjoying the shopping bargains more than ever.

Sheehan, who works in finance, had already purchased a Tommy Hilfiger coat, a few high-end handbags and Ugg boots.

O’Shea, not as enthusiastic on the shopping as his newlywed, had purchased a few bits and was ready to close the door on their shopping spree.

O’Shea, an electrician who is still managing to get an average of three days work a week during the recession, said they would pick up several presents while in New York.

“We’ll get a few presents and bits and pieces but we won’t be going too mad,” said O’Shea.

Sheehan smiled when asked was there a budget and said, “We’ll see.”

FOR an Irish train driver and his family, spending a week in New York was a bi-annual family tradition that they had no intention of letting the recession put a stop to it.

Sean Finnerty, his wife, Deirdre and daughters, Saoirse, 11 and Riona, 9, were rifling through the Guess handbags on the ground floor of Macy’s when the Irish Voice caught up with them.

“We love New York and come here every two years,” said Deirdre, a homemaker.

Finnerty, who works with Iarnroid Eireann (Irish Rail) and has suffered pay cuts like the rest of the government employees, said the family saved hard for this holiday.

“To be honest we are staying with family in Flushing which makes it possible for us to be here,” said Finnerty, while holding three bags from Abercrombie and Fitch.

“We usually stay in hotels but they are very expensive so we are lucky to have family here that can put us up, making our trip possible,” he added.
The Finnertys, from Co. Mayo, were in town two days and already had made a good dent in their spending money.

“Oh we’ve already done a lot of shopping,” smiles Deirdre.

“I got a hoodie from Abercrombie,” shares Saoirse holding up her bag.

“I also got t-shirts from Abercrombie,” adds Riona.

Deirdre and her husband had made several purchases for themselves in the all-American lifestyle store too.

“They are mad for Abercrombie in Ireland,” smiles Finnerty.

The Co. Mayo family was also in the market for jeans, shirts and jumpers.

“I’ve also been looking at getting a nice watch,” added Finnerty.

The family spent most of their days in shops and most of their evenings in nice restaurants.

“We’ve gotten used to the fine dining lifestyle in New York and have a few favorite restaurants that we go to when we come here,” said Deirdre.

To afford their trip to New York this year the Finnertys had to skip their annual sun holiday.

“We had to make scarifies somewhere, but we don’t mind at all cause we love New York and this is where the girls love coming to too,” explained Finnerty.

STANDING outside Bank of America, two blocks from Macys, and looking exasperated, were two friends from Co. Donegal.

Nadine Daly and Melissa Bailey were having issues with credit cards and “nearly had heart-failure” when they thought their shopping spree was about to come to an abrupt end.

“I was in the Gap and had about $300 worth of clothes at the counter when the lady said my credit card was refused,” said Daly half angrily, half sadly.

Daly’s bank in Ireland, Bank of Ireland, cancelled her card because they
suspected suspicious activity.

“They cancelled my card because it has never been used in New York before so they thought it was stolen,” she added.

“I’ve spent most of the cash I brought ($1,300) and began using my card today for the final bits and pieces I wanted,” said Daly, who works as a dental secretary.

Bailey, a social worker, was on hand to support her friend.

“I told her she could use my card because my limit is over 6,000 euros and I’m not planning on spending that,” said Bailey, who had only been to New York once when she was a teenager.

The friends asked Bank of America for help and they advised them to call Bank of Ireland and the situation would be sorted soon enough.

“We’re about to call this number on the back now so hopefully I’ll be back shopping before the shops close,” said Daly optimistically.

“We didn’t come to ‘Bargain Apple’ to sight-see, that’s for sure,” laughs Bailey.

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