Dundalk’s Market Traders believe that they are being forced out of The Square by the Dundalk Town Council, while council officials say they want a regulated market.
The traders, who set up stalls every Friday, believe that the Council organised a marquee company to erect stalls at locations where they would normally trade.
The move comes after the Dundalk Town Council and the Town Centre Commercial Manager’s Office established a Dundalk Farmers and Craft Market that will run ever second and fourth Friday of each month from April until October.
Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat, Peter Tomas, a trader, said “The council will not interact with us. They will not sit around a table with us.
“We arrived to see that marquees were set-up where we would normally trade from. When I asked the person putting them up to move them, I was told that they were ordered to set-them up at specific locations.
“There was no consultation about this. We have been here nearly eight years and we never have been recognised by the council for the amount of people we bring into the town.
“We welcome other traders, but we want to be consulted.”
John Mc Vitty, another trader, said “The council’s attitude in the past has been very aggressive, but that is in the past, it’s time to look forward. We want to bring people into the town. The more traders here, the better it is for everybody.”
David Storey, Senior Executive Officer of the Dundalk Town Council told the paper that the council owns the Market Square and and they want a regulated market.
He said: “For the past two years we have been trying to establish a market. Since the redevelopment of the Market Square, we want to use it as much as possible.
“We’ve met with some of the traders who are in agreement with the plans. I’ve also left messages for traders who were not present, but they didn’t get back to me.
“The Dundalk Town Council owns the Market Square. The traders think they have the rights of the Market Square, they don’t.
“We don’t want to stop traders. We want a regulated market,” he added.