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Tour groups must book visits to English Market or 'traders could be in jeopardy'

The English Market, a fresh food venue and meeting place, is over 200 years old.

Image: Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

TOUR GROUPS THAT want to visit Cork city’s English Market will have to book a place, in an effort to regulate the number of tourists visiting and preserve the heritage of the marketplace.

From 1 March, tour operators will have to register annually with the market’s management.

Large tour groups will have to split into smaller groups to go through the market in the hope that it will ‘help traffic flow and alleviate health and safety concerns’.

A recent survey carried out among 1,000 customers, showed that overcrowding was a common problem and as a result, the potential for health and safety issues has become a major concern.

Pat O’Connell, chairperson of the English Market Traders Committee said, “If we continue as we are and with the tourist numbers continuing to rise, the day-to-day running of the market will be affected and the livelihood of traders could be jeopardy.”

The English Market is Ireland’s oldest indoor market located in a heritage building and set up in a higgledy-piggledy fashion that has attracted local and tourists for generations.

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Small vendors like butchers, cafés, grocer’s sell crafts, art, fresh food and souvenirs which has been operating in Cork since 1788.

“We have a very unique offering here in The English Market,” O’Connell said. “It’s important that everyone who visits gets to experience the true essence of the market – the atmosphere, the banter, the rapport, the quality food, knowledge of the traders etc.”

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