Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson, John Lahart TD has said, “Shopping locally helps to support smaller business owners who either produce their own artisan products or employ people from the area.

“By purchasing something from a local retailer, we essentially support the trader to stay afloat. Often times a large proportion of that money is pumped back into our local economy.

“Online purchases may seem cheapest or a great deal but they’re not always hassle free and could end up much more costly in terms of the effect hat they can have on our communities.

“We could all make a conscious effort to spend even a small portion of the money we will be spending this Christmas on gifts or groceries in an independent shop based in a smaller community.

“When we take the time to look, there is absolutely no shortage of creativity and innovation in towns and villages across Dublin. There are so many quirky, unique shops on our doorstep that have wonderful, unusual gifts on sale at reasonable prices this Christmas.

“The economy may be recovering but local traders and enterprises still rely on our custom and this Christmas period is an ideal time to extend support.”