Shops in NI refusing to accept old £1 coins despite them still being legal tender

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Several shops in Northern Ireland have told customers they are no longer accepting old £1 coins - despite the fact they remain legal tender until October 15.

One woman from Londonderry said her granddaughter was left red faced at the weekend when a local takeaway business refused to accept the old £1 coin.

"I sent her down to get some dinner for her, me and her granda," said the woman who asked not to be named. "I gave her a moneybag with 20 of the old £1 coins in it. I knew I had a week to get rid of them so thought I'd try and use some of them up.

"When my granddaughter went to pay for the food the man behind the counter said they no longer accepted the old coins.

"The only money my granddaughter had was the money I had given her - she was really annoyed at what happened and had to leave without the food."

The woman added: "It's a disgrace. The money remains legal tender but somehow shops think they can make up their own rules and refuse them."

The new 12 sided £1 coin was put into circulation in March and shops will officially be able to stop accepting them on Sunday October 15, 2017.