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Burke wants archbishop's help in street trader row


Christy Burke says festive traders need financial help

Christy Burke says festive traders need financial help

Christy Burke says festive traders need financial help

Former lord mayor of Dublin Christy Burke is appealing to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to broker a compromise deal with Henry Street traders and Dublin City Council to allow them to work on the run-up to Christmas.

The Independent councillor is appealing to the archbishop, as a Dublin man and in the spirit of Christmas, to intervene in the impasse this week.

Cllr Burke said: "The street traders feel as if they are being victimised. They are the very essence of the tradition of Christmas on Henry Street.

"They are all willing to comply with every restriction that is asked of them. If they could even trade for two to three weeks would be a help.

"One their behalf I am pleading with the archbishop to meet with council officials, the traders, myself and indeed chief medical officer Tony Holohan to see if their livelihoods can be saved.

"Surely some sort of structure can be put in place. Listening and knowing them for so long I know they will do everything to follow the rules.

"It's akin to having Christmas without Santa Claus, such is the tradition of having the traders on Henry Street during the festive season."


Dublin City Council said the traditional seasonal trading will not go ahead this year.

In a statement, the council said that it hoped to see traders back on Henry Street and Mary Street next year.

Last month an emergency motion was put forward by several councillors at the council's monthly meeting, calling on chief executive Owen Keegan to put in place any measures necessary to incorporate Sunday trading and late night casual trading under city by-laws.

The motion was unanimously passed.

The street traders' lives were the subject of a 50-minute documentary in 2010 titled Bananas On The Breadboard - Stories From The Markets Area Dublin.

The documentary tracked the social history of the traditional street-trading in the hub of the capital city.

Cllr Burke said: "The traders are an integral part of our history and culture for a very long time. They need all the help they can get.

"Life is tough enough for them at the best of times.

"They are the life of not only Henry Street, Mary Street, Moore Street and Abbey Street but all streets where casual trading is allowed so we have to acknowledge that."