herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Fears new food markets will hurt local shops

BUsINESS

Merrion Square
Merrion Square

Food markets about to be established in Dublin will damage local businesses, a councillor has claimed.

Dublin City Council is looking for operators for markets in Merrion Square and Herbert Park, which could be in operation by the end of the summer.

Tenders have been advertised for applications to possible operators to manage the markets, which will each open once a week. One market will open on a weekday at lunchtime in Merrion Square. The other will be a one-day farmers' market in the Ballsbridge area over the weekend.

The council said it believes the markets will impact positively on local shops. However, independent councillor Mannix Flynn fears it will have the opposite effect.

Concerns

"I'm completely pro-markets and I welcome something like this, and I think when you look at other places in Europe, like London, they really thrive. However, I've heard concerns from a number of local shops who think that these markets will be very damaging to their business," Mr Flynn said.

"There's an unfair advantage when it comes to overheads and the worry is that instead of buying a sandwich in the shop and going for a walk in the park, people will buy at the markets instead, which is damaging for the local shops," he added.

A weekday lunchtime farmers market was trialled in Herbert Park in 2014 but was discontinued. However, the city council believe a vibrant multi-cultural weekend market in the area would prosper.

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