Very few people can remember the trepidation that people felt in bygone years when making that rare trip over the border to avail of some of the cheaper items or indeed the greater variety of goods available north of the border.
From personal experience this writer can remember quite vividly wearing three or four pairs of trousers and a few sweaters to escape the attention of the ever vigilant customs officers - little did we know that the same customs officers knew quite well that it was impossible to put on so much weight in such a short space of time!
One of Donegal’s most prominent residents and successful businesswomen recalled some of her own experiences and remarked on the fact that bureaucracy has not changed in almost three quarters of a century.
Mrs. Maureen Temple, wife of the late Howard Temple of Magee of Donegal, in a letter to the Irish Times yesterday said, “In 1940 when returning to boarding school in Belfast from Cootehill in Co. Cavan and crossing the Border near Dundalk, customs officers boarded the train and without mercy seized a precious pot of home-made jam from me, a lean wartime schoolgirl!
Insensitive bureaucracy has not changed in 72 years. – Yours, etc,”
No doubt the astute and personable Mrs. Temple still keeps a watching brief on the commercial world and is still a formidable woman in the business sector.