ONE of the longest-serving stallholders in the English Market fears that tourists are pushing out paying customers.
As the historic market celebrates its 230th anniversary, butcher Michael Bresnan told the Evening Echo he believes visitor numbers are ‘suffocating’ day-to-day business.
“People are coming in but they don’t want to spend any money, go to a coffee shop or anything,” he said. “That is not any good for us.”
He said when sightseers arrive in large groups, such as from tour buses, they block the aisles and frustrate actual customers. City Hall implemented new rules last summer to cap the size of tourist groups entering the market but Mr Bresnan said that more needs to be done to cater for those who are visiting.
“Sometimes the numbers of tourists coming in are overwhelming, they come in waves and they block the place taking photographs,” he said.
“Tourists are being funnelled in here presently but it is a trading market, not a tourist market."
He continued, “There is almost nothing here for tourists. The only thing they want are public toilets but this is a food market."
His fear is that the continuing popularity of the market will drive regular shoppers to go elsewhere.
“The best thing about the market is the Cork people themselves,” Mr Bresnan said. “They give the market its character and keep it going, not tourists. We have lost a certain amount of that because the tourists have suffocated them out. I would like to see that back.”