24 July 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Potential new traders with established bona fides unable to get stalls while others remain empty
The Cork City Workers’ Party Councillor, Ted Tynan, has said that Cork’s Coal Quay market on Cornmarket Street needs to be opened up to new stall-holders while retaining current ones and being revitalised.
Cllr. Tynan pointed out that while tourists and locals alike rightly recognised the English Market as a vibrant, colourful and diverse trading centre, the Coal Quay is “dying on its feet” through lack of imagination. He said that the problem was not lack of investment but a feeling in some quarters that the Coal Quay was an inconvenience rather than an opportunity to develop something unique and dynamic in the heart of the city.
He said: “The Coal Quay is Cork’s original “Irish Market” which has a history as valid and interesting and even more quintessentially ‘Cork’ than its Princes Street counterpart. Outdoor markets like this have a centuries old tradition throughout Europe and beyond, it is essential therefore that the Coal Quay be allowed to meet its full potential”.
“Even people who have never visited Cork may have heard of the Coal Quay. They may not even know where it is but the name has currency and recognition. That is why we need to preserve it and cherish it”, said Cllr. Tynan.
The Workers’ Party councillor said it was not that long ago since the English Market too was in the doldrums “With a bit of imagination and effort the English Market was utterly transformed to what it is today. The same could be done with the Coal Quay in keeping with its traditions but there seems to be reluctance in some quarters about doing this. I have been approached by potential stall holders who would add to the diversity and vibrancy of the Coal Quay and who have a proven track record of trading and paying their taxes but are unable to rent stalls from Cork City Council even though many of the stalls are unoccupied. This is simply not good enough”
The Workers’ Party councillor said he disagreed with some local businesses who appeared to be laying claim to the space allocated to street traders. He said the street-trading tradition must be preserved in the area. “While genuine traders are stonewalled by Cork City Council in relation and cannot rent stalls, others want this space for their own businesses. The council needs to ensure that this space is strictly reserved for the Coal Quay Market and to respond to applications for trading stalls where all other criteria have been met”