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Festive market boss rejects claims of damaging trade

The head of the organisation running this year's Dublin Christmas market has rejected claims it is taking revenue from city centre traders.

The CEO of Dublin Town Richard Guiney said the market by St Stephen's Green is in fact adding business for the city's retailers.

"It is absolute nonsense that they think the Christmas fare is taking away revenue and business from the city's stores. If anything it's improving business," he said.

"Our studies have found that since the market launched on November 13, the amount of people visiting Grafton Street and Stephen's Green has increased by around 25pc," Mr Guiney added.

The Dublin Town CEO was reacting after local business owners said they felt the market was hampering their business. Some labelling the Christmas market as "tacky", "diabolical" and "cheap".

The market hosts more than 60 traditional wooden chalets along the exterior of St Stephen's Green Park.

Vendor John Rowe, who was selling burgers yesterday, said the market generates extra revenue for local businesses by bringing people to the area.

"It's bringing more business to the place if anything, because you have an extra few thousand people visiting the street every day," the chef explained.

The 69-chalet market was announced in May by Dublin City Business Improvement (BID), since called Dublin Town, with the market expected to generate €20m for Dublin traders.

TRAFFIC

The market is organised in conjunction with the official Dublin at Christmas celebrations, which is a partnership between Dublin Town and Dublin City Council.

However, independent councillor Mannix Flynn branding it as "diabolical", saying permission to run the market was never discussed with city councillors.

Mr Flynn also raised concerns over the "traffic congestion" the market could cause, and said the market was "showing a blatant disregard" for businesses and residents.

Yesterday when the Herald visited, crowds were flocking to the market.

"It's great to have it; we should have started it years ago. There's a great atmosphere," Fiona Hudson said.

hnews@herald.ie


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