herald

Tuesday 19 March 2019

'End of an era' as new rules ban traders from passing down licences

The days of passing street trading licences down generations are gone - with new EU directives marking an end to a long-standing tradition.

Dublin City Council has confirmed that new regulations will mean that licences going from the holder to a family member will not be possible anymore.

Once the licence is gone - if, for example, the holder passes away - it will then be open for tender to anyone.

The directive comes into place on January 1.

Generations

Some of the stallholders in areas such as Moore Street, Meath Street, Camden Street and Grafton Street have had their casual trading licence passed down through five generations.

The EU casual trading regulations state that licences should be "only for an appropriate limited period".

It said that it is not open to automatic renewal and that the licence renewal cannot give any advantage to the previous holder or anyone connected to that holder.

However, family members are still allowed to apply for the licence.

Margaret Buckley (73), a fishmonger on Moore Street for 50 years, said stallholders will "fight tooth and nail" against these changes.

She said the fish stall has been in her family for around 150 years.

Margaret Buckley, who runs a stall selling fish on Dublin's Moore Street.
Margaret Buckley, who runs a stall selling fish on Dublin's Moore Street.

"I'm here 50 years, we were helping the mother and when she died, we took over," she said.

"If anything happens to me it should be passed on to the daughter and keep the tradition going, this is what we want and what we've been fighting for.

"It's scandalous, every time you look around they're making new rules and regulations.

"It means that every street trader on Moore Street, when they die their licence dies with them and there'll be no families to carry it on.

"We'll fight it tooth and nail, every step of the way."

Fruit and veg trader Bernie Darcy said that stallholders will struggle to pass them on anyway, with little interest coming from families.

"None of the family wants this anymore. It's a joke being here, we're out from Monday to Saturday," she said.

"Nobody wants to come to Moore Street, it's very sad," she added, pointing that none of the premises were open which is having a knock-on effect.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn told the Herald that it is "the end of an era" but the rules are something that needed to be brought in.

"This is going to be the end of the traditional family street trading in Dublin and the legacy that has been handed down by generations is over," he said.

In a statement last night, DCC told the Herald that it put new draft casual trading bye-laws out to public consultation early in 2018 and all its casual traders were fully informed of the changes and were invited to make submissions.

The statement added that, as a result of the new regulations, "the council is currently seeking legal advice on a revised set of draft bye-laws, which will go out to public consultation in early 2019".

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