English Market visitor rules will avert ‘chaos’

City officials have warned against suspending new visitor controls at Cork’s famous English Market.

English Market visitor rules will avert ‘chaos’

Scrapping the controls, which they said were agreed after extensive consultation with the traders’ representative body, would effectively legislate for “chaos and anarchy” in the market this busy summer season.

The warning came from the city council’s head of corporate affairs, Paul Moynihan, last night after Fianna Fáil councillor Tim Brosnan called for a suspension of the new protocols.

Aramark Property, the company which runs Ireland’s oldest indoor food market on behalf of the council, introduced a registration system last week for tour operators who wish to bring groups through the market.

Large tour-groups now have to book a visit, and tour group sizes have been capped at eight people.

School groups are also required to book in advance, with visits restricted to before 10.30am on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

The protocols were prepared in response to a significant increase in tourist numbers to the market in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s visit in May 2011.

Traders said the surge in visitor numbers has led to problems of overcrowding at certain times, and raised potential health and safety issues.

However, Mr Brosnan said some traders have expressed concerns about the move, and said he had concerns that the protocols had been introduced in some kind of “tokenistic” nod towards health and safety concerns.

He called for the suspension of the controls to allow for a full review by councillors to assess if they were in the public interest.

However, Mr Moynihan said the protocols were not “magicked up” but were the result of extensive consultation with the traders’ representative committee.

He said visitors using flash photography and asking traders to step outside their stalls for photographs was impacting on the day-to-day running of the food market.

He insisted that bouncers or security guards will not be on duty at the market gates and he said officials will monitor the implementation of the measures, which will be implemented in a “softly, softly manner”, over the coming week.

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