Ennis’ Market building which opened in September of last year and cost €1.75m to build will only operate as a car-park on Saturdays.
According to Clare County Council an insufficient amount of interest from traders was a factor in the decision to close the Market on Saturdays. They maintain that the number of traders must increase in order “to justify closing the car park on a Saturday”.
A spokesperson for the local authority told The Clare Herald, “Clare County Council’s Bye Laws provide for trading in Ennis on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. When the Council initially sought expressions of interest from traders, it did so in respect of traders interested in trading for the three days. However, the Council only received sufficient interest to proceed with Markets on a Friday and Saturday.
“The January to March period is a particularly quite time for Markets and many traders do not trade in this period. With only 1 or 2 traders available to trade at the moment on a Saturday, the Council has taken the decision not to proceed with trading in the building on Saturdays, until the numbers revert to a more feasible level to justify closing the car park on a Saturday. The two traders who were willing to trade on a Saturday have been informed of the decision and have been offered the opportunity to trade outside the building in the short-term until such time as the numbers revert”.
Stall holders who expressed an interest to sell goods on the day are “extremely disappointed”. The Clare Herald has obtained a copy of the email sent to the two merchants were keen to carry out their business in the market building.
They were told, “For the foreseeable future, trading in the Indoor Market will only be able to take place on Fridays only. The Indoor Market will not be opened for trading on Saturdays”.
Ahead of its September opening, the new indoor Ennis Market was advertised as a place “where up to 21 traders will provide a wide range of high quality goods including specialty foods, bakery and confectionery, arts and crafts, and health and beauty products. On non-trading days the facility is available for parking, providing 27 spaces in a safe, convenient central location”.
In advance of the opening five months ago, Mayor of Ennis Ann Norton stated “This very significant investment by Clare County Council in the heart of Ennis will enhance the market to standards expected in the modern age. It will provide traders with a quality and convenient location to promote their locally sourced and produced goods”.
Last week Clare County Council issued fresh appeals for more stall holders to trade in the market. On Friday of last week there were just two individuals selling items at the Market.