Dublin to get Christmas market in €20m boost for traders
Dublin city centre is to get its own Christmas market in a €20m boost for traders.
It may be only May, but already the groundwork is being laid for the festive initiative, which it is hoped will prove a huge draw into the city.
Details of the market which is expected to attract an additional 600,000 people in footfall, were unveiled by the Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID).
There will be 60 stalls located in traditional wooden chalets running along the outside of St Stephen's Green Park, between Grafton Street and Merrion Road.
Around 150 seasonal jobs will be generated as a result of the 'Dublin at Christmas market' which will run from Thursday, November 13th until Tuesday, 23rd December.
Goods like handcrafted gift items, wood crafts, jams and preserves, as well as seasonal food and drinks will be on sale from the chalets.
Traditional Christmas markets have proved a popular attraction in Galway and Belfast, and other European countries.
Passer-bys did a double take this morning to see a Christmas stall set up at the entrance to Stephen's Green where the announcement was made - more than seven months before the big day.
However Richard Guiney, the CEO of Dublin City BID said: "We do the Christmas lights for the city, and we start planning for it from March and April. "
"Over the summer we put up the infrastructure for the lights. We co-fund the tree on O'Connell Street with Dublin City Council.
"It's not unusual for us to have a conversation about when Santa will be arriving before Easter," he said.
"This is part of a Dublin at Christmas package," he said.
Mr Guiney revealed the idea for the market had come up in its surveys, with people suggesting they wanted it, and in an accessible area.
Entertainment from local choirs and carrollers will get visitors into the festive spirit.
The market will be organised in conjunction with the official Dublin at Christmas celebrations, which is a partnership between Dublin City BID and the council, and it will be launched the same day as the Grafton Street lights are turned on.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State Brian Hayes said markets will help bring additional visitors into the city centre, "ensuring they can shop for the best of Irish produce while benefiting local Irish businesses and creating seasonal jobs."
Dublin City BID is a not for profit organisation charged with creating a welcoming and economically viable city environment. It is a collective of 2,500 businesses in the city centre.