Henry St Xmas traders to take 'all or nothing' approach as council present plans

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The majority of Henry Street traders are set to take an “all or nothing” approach to operating stalls at the busy city centre shopping location this year – but attempts to bring back the Christmas tradition are not over yet.

As previously reported on Dublin Live, a last minute attempt to save the traditional outdoor trading on Henry Street began last week after councillors Janice Boylan and Joe Costello brought motions forward to Dublin City Council.

With the support of Lord Mayor Hazel Chu, a meeting took place between the Henry Street Traders committee and DCC officials to try and find a solution rather than cancel all trading as had been planned by the council. Another meeting is planned for this week.

But many traders are unhappy with the proposal being offered by DCC, with letters beginning to arrive asking for their opinion on the plan. Not all traders are set to be accommodated under the plans if more than 30 are interested in trading this year.

According to the letter, the terms include:

  • A maximum of 10/11 stalls can be accommodated on Henry Street
  • 15 further stalls can be accommodated on a combination of Moore Street, Liffey Street, O’Connell Street and possibly Coles Lane
  • Depending on the numbers interested on trading on this basis, if oversubscribed it would be the intention to draw lots for the allocation of stalls

An online petition has also been set up by the traders, calling for support to ensure that all stalls will be able to operate on Henry Street this year. Last year, 47 stalls operated on Henry Street and that is the figure the council is currently working with.

Further discussions are still to take place with the Henry Street Traders Committee and council officials. Councillor Janice Boylan is secretary for the committee.

She previously told Dublin Live that while she welcomed the introduction of finding an alternative plan rather than just having a flat no from the council, it’s “100% not the best case scenario”.

Speaking to Dublin Talks on 98FM yesterday, she said: “Every problem they presented to us, we came back to them with solutions. With practical, solvable solutions.

“We felt it was very important that DCC made contact with the traders directly. We let the traders then decide whether they want to trade or not. This process is not over.”

Trader Rene Caldwell created the Henry Street Christmas Traders group on Facebook, which has seen over 13,000 people join in support.

Speaking to Dublin Talks, she said: “I, as a trader, feel that it’s like picking your favourite child. I feel that if all the stalls can’t go out, then none of the stalls should go out on Henry Street. How can you say to somebody that you’ve worked next to for years – how are you getting on there on Liffey Street while you’re making a few bob on Henry Street? That person’s in a lesser pitch. That’s going to cause more conflict and anger amongst the traders.

“It’s playing around with people’s livelihoods. [It needs] to be fair across the board. It’ll be dividing us, and it’s going to be the end of Henry Street stalls.”

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Source: Dublin News