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No festive cheer for Henry Street stall traders


Vendors won’t be selling festive goods on Henry Street

Vendors won’t be selling festive goods on Henry Street

Vendors won’t be selling festive goods on Henry Street

It's usually one of the most lively places in Dublin in the run up to Christmas, with bright lights and street vendors shouting out offers for last-minute gifts.

However, casual traders who set up stalls on Henry Street in the lead up to Christmas will not be allowed to do so this year.

Dublin City Council today told the committee for casual trading a decision had been made "at the highest level" against allowing the traditional Christmas street market to go ahead. This was over public health concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Labour Party councillor Joe Costello, who is on the committee, said there was disappointment and anger over the decision, especially given the public health advice is that outdoor settings are safer than indoors.

"There was a glimmer of hope as the situation [regarding Covid-19 case numbers] has improved in recent weeks," he said.

"Obviously, we knew it wouldn't be happening under Level 5, but it looks like we will be moving back to Level 4 or Level 3.

"This is a tradition leading up to Christmas and it only would have been for a few weeks."

Around 60 traders usually set up stalls on the street in the run up to the festive period, though only around 40 were planning to do so this year.

"There is a contradiction there because the indoor shops will be open with shoppers inside while the street traders remain closed," Mr Costello told the Herald.

"It was quite an angry meeting," he said. Mr Costello said there had been ongoing discussions and a risk assessment report had been prepared in September.

Concerns were raised about the numbers who would be attending, but he said there was no specific direction that it would not go ahead.


Traders and members of the committee were satisfied it could be held safely.

"It's very much a Christmas tradition, it's bright and cheerful and we were hoping against hope that it could go ahead."

He had argued for waiting a number of weeks before a final decision was made.

Sadie Grace (65), who has been selling lights and decorations at her stall on the street every year before Christmas since she was 13, said she was disappointed at the decision.

"This is the first year I won't be there," she said.

Dublin City Council was contacted for comment.