This post was drafted back on the 19th December ... and comes to you twelve days late.
Following on, the reporter continued ...
After weeks of doom-laden predictions on the talk shows, miles of police cones on the Holywood-Belfast dual-carriageway to deter hysterics tempted to abandon cars mid-carriageway, scores of CCTV cameras, 20 PSNI officers on Ikea traffic duty and a helicopter overhead to quell rampaging flat-pack fiends, we considered packing flak jackets, tents and three-day rations.
Come 8am, two hours before opening, what we got was an unnaturally orderly and cheerful queue of about 60 being entertained by jugglers and stilt-walkers.
While the Irish Independent and Belfast Telegraph finished their articles - environmentally friendly given that obvious reuse that Anita Guidera got by tailoring the same piece for two newspapers - with a reference to the much-quoted bed/conception statistic:
“From humble beginnings selling pens and nylons in Sweden back in 1943, today it is claimed that one in 10 Europeans are conceived in Ikea beds. After yesterday, Ireland's contribution to that statistic will begin.”
According to a PA report:
More than 15,000 shoppers visited Belfast's new Ikea shop during its first day of trading.
And the BBC suggests another 15,000 visited the next day (Friday). Not a bad footfall for a new store.
And the traffic tail backs - though just on one lane of the Sydenham bypass - eventually arrived on 27-31 December. But no massive gridlock yet!