German discount supermarket chain Lidl has cut prices across its stores in Ireland.

The price cuts were implemented at the weekend and are the first response to Tesco’s moves to lower prices early last week.

“All new, dramatically lower prices will apply to all our stores – from Youghal to Dundalk”, said Lidl spokesperson Aoife Clarke.

“We are committed to our policy of “One Country, One Price”. Our unbelievable price cuts are achieved without shifting business overseas. Quite to the contrary, we are constantly extending our range of Irish sourced products and would welcome any proposals from suppliers who might have extra capacity after the change in distribution policies recently announced by some of our competitors.”

Price cuts include a 33% reduction on bananas from EUR1.49 (US$2.03) per kilo to EUR0.99 per kilo. A fresh large 1.8kg roaster chicken has been reduced from EUR6.29 to EUR4.99 and rindless back bacon from EUR3.45 to EUR2.99.

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Last week, Tesco reopened 11 of its stores in the Republic of Ireland and slashed prices by as much as 25% in response to the rise of cross-border shopping into Northern Ireland.

Since then, the retailer has drawn heavy criticism from manufacturers and farmers who have accused Tesco of using Irish meat, milk and vegetable suppliers as “cannon fodder” in a major struggle to save their market share and protect their profits.