KILKEE Town Councillor Elaine Haugh-Hayes expressed concern at the council’s October monthly meeting in relation to the presence of “outside” traders at the annual Strand Races last month.
Councillor Haugh told the meeting some members of Kilkee Chamber of Commerce believe traders, who arrive for the day are depriving local businesses of valuable trade.
“The Strand Races are a great thing for the town but as far as the Chamber of Commerce is concerned there was a problem in that there was a chip van and an ice cream van on the promenade on the day of the races,” Councillor Haugh Hayes said.
“It’s very difficult when people are being asked to support something and then there’s somebody from the outside coming in taking some of their business,” she added before asking if the traders on Kilkee promenade had licences.
“The only exemption, as per the bylaws for the Strand Races, is for horses on the beach. Traders that would have been trading should not have been trading without having an appropriate licence,” Kilkee town clerk, John Corry explained.
However, he made a distinction between beach bylaws and casual trading bylaws, both a which have been enacted in Kilkee.
“The promenade is covered in the beach bylaws and you can’t trade in that area without having a licence. Under casual trading, an ice cream van is exempt. It’s one of the exemptions but it’s not specifically listed as an exemption under our beach by laws,” he stated.
Councillor Haugh-Hayes asked that the council contact organisers regarding the chip and ice cream van traders’ presence in Kilkee at the Strand Races.
“I would like a letter written to the organisers of the races to indicate that bringing in outside businesses really isn’t on,” she said.
However, Councillor Lily Marrinan-Sullivan asked if the race organisers could do anything about traders arriving in the town for the day.
“Have they the authority to stop them? That’s the question. I’m sure they didn’t invite them in. For the day’s entertainment that’s in it, people are very slow to put their hands in their pocket. There’s no entrance fee. There’s a day’s entertainment in it. To ask the organisers to police the promenade for people coming in selling chips or the bouncy castle, I don’t really think that falls under their remit,” Councillor Lily Marrinan-Sullivan commented, adding that insurance costs for the day amounted to €7,000.
“It’s a difficult situation. I’m sure the organisers definitely did not invite them in for the day. But how do you stop those people if they come? It could be a job next year for the community warden, if people arrive without their proper permit, to send them on their way,” Mayor of Kilkee Claire Haugh suggested.