Business Irish

Saturday 24 August 2019

'It's how I make my living' - traders reeling as popular Christmas flea market cancelled

Market forces: Alison Lowndes Barker’s business survives in winter through flea market sales at Christmas
Market forces: Alison Lowndes Barker’s business survives in winter through flea market sales at Christmas

Gabija Gataveckaite

Dublin traders have been left reeling following the confirmation of the closure of the capital's annual Christmas flea market.

The market was home to more than 280 stalls and ran each December. Last year, it took place over two weekends as opposed to the usual one weekend.

Organisers confirmed the market will not go ahead this year due to "insufficient infrastructure and support" for the event.

Trader Alison Lowndes Barker, who is originally from Tallaght but lives in Dublin 8, said the market helped her business survive through the quieter winter months.

"I depend on it every year, it gets me through the few quiet months," she said.

Ms Lowndes Barker sells hair accessories, greeting cards and jewellery which she designs and makes herself.

"Without the flea, my business wouldn't be where it is now and I have a lot to thank for it. It's my baby, it's how I make a living."

The Dublin flea market was held monthly in Newmarket Square until it had to be moved due to construction works in 2018.

The market has been hosted as a pop-up shop in the Digital Hub in Thomas Street, but it remains to find a permanent home.

However, the annual Christmas market was the largest event for the organisers and Ms Lowndes Barker said the event attracted people internationally.

"It's such a shame that councillors aren't fighting for the markets, we're meant to be a city of culture," she said.

Organisers broke the news yesterday with a statement on its website.

"Sadly we have come to the heavy realisation that, at this time, there is insufficient infrastructure and support for an event of this type and scale in Dublin city," the statement read.

It said the market received more than 600 submissions to trade from all over the country in 2018 and attracted 73,000.

The organisers are set to campaign for a new venue to host the market.

The market previously took place at the Point Shopping Centre in Dublin's city centre. The Point Shopping Centre did not reply to requests for comment at time of publication.

Irish Independent

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