Water shortages in Northern Ireland did little to dampen sales at local c-stores.

The shortages, which affected more than 60,000 homes throughout the country, took place over the new year after pipes burst due to the freezing weather and the thaw which followed. The Belfast and Cookstown areas were worst hit, with households without water for several days.

Michelle Brennan of Spar Great Victoria Street, Belfast, said that although water supplies to her store weren't affected, there was an increase in sales of bottled water due to the shortage. "It's almost back to normal now, but during the shortages we were regularly selling out of water and had to order extra deliveries," she said. "People were buying whatever they could get their hands on."

David Finlay of Finlay's in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, also saw a rise in bottled water sales. "We ordered more stock to cope with the demand," he said.

Creightons Of Finaghy in Belfast was without water for three days. "It was a nightmare," said a member of staff. "The deli counter was badly affected and the toilet wasn't working."

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