Judge approves casual trading byelaws for Kenmare

A long-running dispute over casual trading in Kenmare has moved closer to resolution.

Judge James O’Connor yesterday approved a list of byelaws, subject to conditions, at a special sitting of Killarney District Court.

It follows three days of evidence from Kerry County Council, which is proposing the byelaws, Kenmare Chamber of Commerce members and traders.

The market rights in Kenmare date back to the times of the Shelbourne and Lansdowne estates in the 1700s and 1800s and are protected under the letters patent originally granted by the British monarchy.

These rights, which are not being extinguished by the council under the draft byelaws, allow trading in Kenmare for six days of the week.

Until now, trading in the town has been unregulated and this has led to an ongoing dispute between traders and some business people.

The council estimated from a survey there are 31 regular traders in the town on the busiest day, Wednesday, but the court heard at peak season that figure can rise about 40.

Under the byelaws traders would move from the Square to 29 designated bays along Park Lane and East Park Lane at a cost of €15 per day.

Traders raised a number of concerns about the location including an impact on their business and the amount and size of the bays, which can return to use as car parking if not in use.
It was agreed that a maximum of two adjoining trading bays per trader could be allocated in the event of undersubscription at a cost of €50 per day.

In the case of oversubscription traders would be offered an alternative day.

Following three days of evidence, Judge James O’Connor approved the draft byelaws subject to a number of conditions; once drawn up he will sign them.

The byelaws may still be appealed to the Circuit Court by any party.