Street traders up in arms against council directive

A ROW has flared up between street traders and the local council in tourism town Killarney.

Traders are refusing to obey an order from the town council to move from their positions at Market Cross, in the centre of the town. Though Market Cross has been a traditional trading area in Killarney, with old picture postcards showing business being transacted, it is not a designated casual trading place at present, according to the council.

“All trading in this area is unauthorised and you are requested to cease trading in this area immediately,” says the letter sent to traders.

However, the traders, who include artists, hair braiders and jewellery vendors, are holding their ground. Painter Deborah O’Keeffe, who has been trading there for many years, said they were united in their stance.

“We have always been trading here and there have been people at this spot for hundreds of years,” she said. “This might not be a casual trading area, but it is a market place and we are protected by market rights.”

Killarney town clerk Michael O’Leary said consideration had to be given to the large number of pedestrians using the streets and local ratepayers. He said the council was, at present, drafting alternative proposals and hoped to have a designated trading area.

“Whatever plans we come up, Market Cross is not a designated trading area and all trading there must be stopped,” Mr O’Leary said.

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