Editorial: Kilkenny’s retailers not let convalesce

This week's editorial

Darren Hassett and Mary Cody

Reporter:

Darren Hassett and Mary Cody

Email:

news@kilkennypeople.ie

High Street, Kilkenny

High Street in Kilkenny

The struggles of many businesses in Kilkenny are a symptom of an unjust rates system; modern day shopping habits and a local authority’s desire to make money from parking.

That’s the equation that was mooted at last week’s meeting on shopping in Kilkenny.

If ever there was an anecdote from the coalface that summed up the difficulties businesses in Kilkenny face; it was Gerry O’Brien’s tale of two cities.

Gerry has premises in both Market Yard and Loughboy and he said the Loughboy shop does three times the business, and the reason is parking. The reality is that parking in the city is a deterrent to shoppers and it’s hitting businesses hard in 2018.

Many of Kilkenny’s sole traders have just survived a recession that hit their trade hard. It appears to remain the case; that the boom is only back for some in this country.

Retailers here have not been allowed to convalesce, as it would appear, nothing has changed for them post-recession.

People are back shopping but they’re more frugal in the wake of a downturn and many just won’t pay for parking in the city centre, driving down footfall, and the retail sector must still pay their rates from diminished returns.

Couple that with people increasingly turning to online shopping and you’ve got a large scale crisis in the heart of Kilkenny City and in towns rights across the county. Businesses need decisive action now or there’ll be more closures in the near future.

Stay safe on our roads

Last Friday gardaí were out in force on the roads of the city and county with over thirty speedchecks in place for National Go Slow Day.

This bank holiday weekend gardaí are urging motorists to slow down, stay alert and to pull in if you are experiencing fatigue.

Extra checkpoints will be in place to ensure compliance on our roads. It is important that we all drive responsibly and play our part in keeping ourselves and each other safe.