THE casual traders of Kilkenny Farmers’ Market have been granted their long-standing wish to move their stalls into the centre of the Parade on a trial basis, beginning today (Thursday).
Until this week, the traders were based on the gravel walk on the east side of the Parade. However, for two years now, they have been making submissions to the council asserting that the location is not suitable.
Two submissions made during a recent review of the local casual trading by-laws said that the gravel walk was too far away from the main thoroughfair of the town, lacked visibility, was difficult to keep clean, and even posed a health and safety risk.
The issue was referred to the Municipal Policy Committee (MPC) during the summer, on whose behalf Cllr Joe Reidy (FF) addressed the Kilkenny Borough Council last Monday evening.
“The MPC is recommending that [the traders] come out onto the Parade on a trial basis,” he said.
“It could be reviewed in the November meeting if it is a success, starting from [this] Thursday.”
Cllr Malcolm Noonan (Green Party) said that any initiative to boost the market’s success was welcome, but that the council would have to exercise caution in its assessment of the trial period.
“It is a relatively short trial period, and it may be difficult to determine the economic benefits to traders,” he said.
“However, we need to develop a long-term strategy for the market. It is a significant employer in Kilkenny – over 70 people are there collectively.”
Town Clerk Brian Tyrrell said that were the trial period a success, it would lead to an amendment of the casual trading by-laws.
The existing designated trading area is serviced by electricity and water. While not all traders require these, to relocate to the central area may require some degree of works.