CHEQUES have begun arriving to the homes this week of hundreds of thousands of those who bought Eircom shares in 1999 as part of a €64m cash bonanza.
Many of the small-time investors assumed that their investment in the state phone company was worthless.
Shareholders are now getting a return on their money as part of the big payout, despite the biggest stock flotation in the country originally being written off as a failure.
It is hoped people will either reinvest or choose to spend their windfall, resulting in a boost to the economy.
Some 380,000 Irish shareholders will benefit from the sale of Vodafone’s US interest to telecoms giant Verizon.
They will receive either a cheque in the post or money lodged into their bank accounts this week.
The total payout in Ireland is estimated to be about €229m, made up of both a cash payout and shares in Verizon.
Retailers are hoping this will boost consumer confidence and lead to shareholders indulging in expenditures like home refurbishment.
The collective cash payout is estimated to be about €64m.