herald

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Festive flea market's demise 'devastating', says trader

Trader Alison Lowndes Barker ‘depends on the flea market’
Trader Alison Lowndes Barker ‘depends on the flea market’

Traders have been left reeling following the confirmation of the closure of the annual Dublin Flea Christmas Market.

Organisers confirmed that the event will not go ahead this year due to "insufficient infrastructure and support".

Speaking to the Herald, trader Alison Lowndes Barker, who is originally from Tallaght but lives in Dublin 8, said that the market helped her business survive through the quieter winter months.

"I depend on it every year. It gets me through the few quiet months," she said.

The Christmas flea market was home to more than 280 stalls and ran each December. Last year it took place over two weekends, as opposed to the usual one.

Ms Lowndes Barker sells hair accessories, greetings cards and jewellery, which she designs and makes herself.

"Throughout the year I look forward to it and plan for it and ensure I have enough stock to get through it," she said.

"Without the flea, my business wouldn't be where it is now and I have a lot to thank it for.

"It's my baby - it's how I make a living."

The Dublin flea market was held monthly in Newmarket Square until it had to be moved due to construction works in 2018.

The market is now hosted as a pop-up shop in the Digital Hub in Thomas Street, but it is still to find a permanent home.

However, the Christmas market was the largest event for organisers and Ms Lowndes Barker said that the event attracted people internationally.

"It's such a shame that councillors aren't fighting for the markets. We're meant to be a city of culture. It's devastating," she said.

"It's definitely a concern now. Where will I go? I was thinking of going to London or another city in Europe for the Christmas season."

Petition

Organisers broke the news yesterday with a statement on their website.

"Sadly we have come to the heavy realisation that, at this time, there is insufficient infrastructure and support for an event of this type and scale in Dublin city," the statement read.

It added that the market received over 600 submissions to trade from all over the country in 2018 and attracted 73,000.

The organisers are set to campaign for a new venue to host the market.

"We will be refocusing our energy in the coming weeks into lobbying local and central Government, asking them to acknowledge that this city is in dire need of more cultural and event spaces," it added.

"We will be working on a proposal and a petition to gather ideas and support for this campaign."

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