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Return to spender? With the Northern Ireland public being urged to splash the cash, we ask three writers if they were quids in - or out


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High life: Paul Martin with his girlfriend Jenny Krieger at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast

High life: Paul Martin with his girlfriend Jenny Krieger at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast

Paul’s post-lockdown money

Paul’s post-lockdown money

Magic moments: Alex Kane and his son Indy

Magic moments: Alex Kane and his son Indy

Home baking: Lilah with her first quiche

Home baking: Lilah with her first quiche

Queues at Ikea in Belfast after lockdown

Queues at Ikea in Belfast after lockdown

Furniture fantasy: Heidi and Allen McAlpin with their children Freddie and Scarlett

Furniture fantasy: Heidi and Allen McAlpin with their children Freddie and Scarlett

High life: Paul Martin with his girlfriend Jenny Krieger at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast

Lockdown, introduced in Northern Ireland on March 23, was about saving lives through containing the spread of coronavirus. That proved highly successful, with the province performing better than any other region of these islands.

Now the focus is on saving the high street and kick-starting the economy. Will that bear similar positive results? Even the most optimistic forecasters admit that it could be a long slog.

With 240,000 people here currently furloughed and the return to any sort of normality showing only tentative green shoots, our months in lockdown have conditioned many people to a new lifestyle.