Call made to expand the historic Coal Quay

Call made to expand the historic Coal Quay
Street market stalls at Cornmarket Street on the Coal Quay. Picture: Denis Minihane.

CORK'S historic Coal Quay is 'dying on its feet', according to one city councillor who is urging city officials to breathe new life into the area.

Workers' Party representative Ted Tynan has called for the market to be opened up to new stall-holders to reinvigorate the whole area.

He called for greater supports for existing traders and said that the amenity is treated as 'an inconvenience' rather than an opportunity to develop something dynamic in the heart of the city.

Mr Tynan said that the market is recognised by locals and visitors alike as a vibrant and diverse trading area.

He said that a lack of imagination means that the Coal Quay is 'dying on its feet.'

"The Coal Quay is Cork's original 'Irish market', which has a history as valid and interesting and even more quintessentially 'Cork' than its Princes Street counterpart," he said.

"Outdoor markets like this have a centuries old tradition throughout Europe and beyond. It is essential, therefore, that the Coal Quay be allowed to meet its full potential."

Mr Tynan pointed to the success of the English Market as a model of success.

In the late 1980s, the market was damaged by fire and had high vacancy rates. It is now revered as one of the city's most popular tourist attractions after significant investment.

He said, "With a bit of imagination and effort, the English Market was utterly transformed to what it is today. The same could be done with the Coal Quay in keeping with its traditions but there seems to be reluctance in some quarters about doing this."

Mr Tynan said he has been approached by a number of potential stall owners about spaces in the market.

In recent weeks, some local businesses have called for the refurbishment of the old stalls, suggesting that the street could benefit from being more open or better decorated.

Mr Tynan said that the stalls and traders need to be at the heart of any potential changes in the area.

He said, "The council needs to ensure that this space is strictly reserved for the Coal Quay market and to respond to applications for trading stalls where all other criteria have been met."

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