Market stall removed from front of listed Cork city pub

A market stall which was blocking views of a listed pub in Cork’s traditional street market quarter has been moved.

Publican Benny McCabe, who owns the Bodega on Cornmarket Street, a listed building, welcomed its removal and said he is looking forward to engaging with City Hall and others to further enhance the Coal Quay, and rejuvenate its street market.

“I’m delighted with the visibility. To be able to be seen from the road is a major plus for us,” he said.

The stall, one of several on Cornmarket St, was moved by Cork City Council in recent days a month after Mr McCabe threatened legal action over what he described as a “blockade”.

Council spokesman, Paul Moynihan, said the stall was relocated by mutual consent to enhance the visual appearance of the area, and to improve pedestrian flow.

He said City Hall will continue to work with all stakeholders in the area to improve and enhance the area.

The council erected the stalls after a €4m facelift of the historic Cornmarket St and Coal Quay area in 2011. Shutters were subsequently installed on the units to combat anti-social behaviour.

Mr McCabe said most of the units were boarded up most of the time and had created a “blockade” of his, and several other businesses.

He said while the rejuvenation had delivered new footpaths and a plaza, it had failed to breathe new life into the street market.

Mr McCabe stressed his support for market traders but said the layout of the stalls was having a horrendous impact on his business.

His comments sparked a wider debate on the future of the Coal Quay’s street trading tradition.

Last night, he repeated his support for a thriving street market in the area.

“I would envisage a street market here that would rival the markets of Camden Town. I can’t see why that can’t happen here on the Coal Quay. I look forward to discussions in coming months on the future direction of the Coal Quay,” he said.

Meanwhile, traders from Cornmarket St, Paul St, French Church St, Daunt Square, Castle St and Carey’s Lane, have united to improve security in the area amid concerns about slow garda response times to certain incidents.

And separately, the Coal Quay’s rich heritage will be celebrated next weekend as part of Cork Heritage Open Day. Supported by the city council and traders, the sixth Coal Quay family festival will take place on August 19, with live music and an exhibition in St Peter’s.

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