English Market ‘fire hazard’

Cork City Council claimed yesterday that a trader at the English Market was causing a fire and safety hazard by storing a huge number of boxes and crates in the loft space over his grocery unit.

The council brought an injunction application through barrister Meg Burke to Cork Circuit Court yesterday against Michael Corrigan, trading as Superfruit at the English Market in Cork.

Ms Burke said that the council required all traders to clear out anything they may have stored in the loft space over their premises so that the roof on the English Market can be replaced.

Ms Burke said Mr Corrigan was the only trader who had refused to clear out the loft space over his units.

“It is a significant fire and safety hazard at present,” Mr Burke said, adding there was a huge number of boxes and crates in the overhead area and that there was even a toilet, contrary to regulations at the market.

She said the dispute escalated on July 28 when Mr Corrigan refused to leave the premises and stayed there overnight despite the fact gardaí were called.

“In terms of fire and health and safety it is a hazard to patrons and other traders. He has refused to remove his items from the room. We wrote to him and asked him to do so on numerous occasions over the past 12 months,” Ms Burke said.

An ex-parte injunction was granted recently against Mr Corrigan. In court yesterday, he said he did not have a solicitor.

Mr Corrigan said: “We store stuff in the airspace. It is essential. It is pretty essential to our trade. We store boxes. They are recycled to our suppliers.”

He explained that if a fruit delivery man brings his supply in boxes, it is possible to give suppliers back the empty boxes for the next delivery.

Asked how long he had been using the airspace for this purpose, he replied: “Over 30 years.”

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin asked the local authority how they had abided by this position for 30 years and were now taking injunctive proceedings. Ms Burke said the situation came to their attention when they surveyed all the airspace over units in the market with a view to carrying out the replacement of the roof.

“He has put in toilet facilities for which there is no approval,” Ms Burke said.

The judge told Mr Corrigan he would be well advised to get a solicitor.

The case was adjourned until October 10.

Two conditions of the injunction stand until then whereby he is required not to breach Waste Management provisions in the English Market, and not to stay on the property overnight.

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