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A general view of the Market building in Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly

Council urged to put market in hands of independent trustees

ENNIS’ Market building, described this week as a “glorified car park”, should be put in the hands of trustees operating independently from the local authority, a meeting of councillors has heard.
Councillor Pat Daly believes that Limerick’s Milk Market may provide the inspiration for “positive ideas for the future promotion of the Market Building at Market Street, Ennis.”
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District he urged that a visit be organised for councillors and staff within the local authority to the market in Limerick.
Backing the proposal, Councillor Johnny Flynn suggested that the market building could be leased out by the council to a group of public/private trustees.
He estimated the Council could charge between €25,000 and €30,000 a year for use of the building giving “a good return” to the local authority.
The market building was constructed at a cost of €500,000 as part of a €1.75m redevelopment of the market area in 2016.
Councillor Daly told the meeting he believes that the market building “has potential there, but at the moment it is a glorified car park, which is making income for the Council, but that is not the intention of the building”.
He called on the Council to approach the operators of the Milk Market to get ideas on ways to promote the Ennis market.
He suggested that the town centre location would be an ideal location for events such as antiques fairs and food markets.
“I was watching television and there are all of these antiques shows that are packed with people. The antiques dealers in Ennis could get in board with this.”
He insisted that the Council “has to do something” about the Ennis market, urging that moves be made ahead of the Christmas season.
“There could be events for children there at Christmas, we can’t be having 14 or 16 cars in there. It’s fine for the moment but down the road we have to get serious and do something about it.”
Councillor Flynn recalled how 13 years ago he proposed a feasibility study into the development of a covered market for Ennis and had met with the trustees behind the Milk Market in Limerick.
“They operate independently of the local authority,” he said. “It’s important that we look at the market as an asset,” he said, suggesting the Council examine the potential of putting the market in the hands of trustees with expertise.
He added that the development of the market building was part of wider improvement works which benefited the market area.
Councillor Daly pressed the Council to set a date for the visit to Limerick, stressing the importance of moving ahead in time for Christmas: “It’s important that we do something, it’s an eyesore at the moment”.
It was agreed the Council would revert with an appropriate date.

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