Perhaps it was the spirit of the season, perhaps Brian Lenihan’s “worst being behind us” talk wasn’t just for the press gallery, but there was a palpable sense of optimism in Waterford last Sunday.
On the second last shopping Sunday before Christmas, shops throughout the city were bustling with gift-seeking people.
For anyone more accustomed to frequenting the city centre during the week, seeing so many out and about in an area traditionally quiet beyond 6pm five days out of seven, this came as a relief.
From a commercial point of view, seeing so many shadows crossing business thresholds undoubtedly came as a pleasure, especially during these trying economic times.
Be it the out of town stores or the city centre outlets, there were people, people everywhere, not only thinking of their loved ones, but doing their bit for the local economy to boot.
One of the DIY stores that this newspaper popped into on Sunday last was clearly doing good business, with queues at all four check-outs, as staff ferried Christmas trees into nearby car boots.
The city centre, looking resplendent thanks to the Carousel at John Roberts Square, the nearby Christmas market and the re-opened Penneys naturally drawing more shoppers into the area, was a hive of activity.
 See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.