Legal row threatens Christmas market

Published Monday, 29 October 2012
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A continental Christmas market in Londonderry's Guildhall Square might have to be cancelled because of a legal row among local publicans.

Derry City Council has received a licensing application for a bar to be set up at the market.

However local bar owners believe it could affect their crucial pre-Christmas trade.

The application has been made by Meenan Square Limited, the owners of the Bogside Inn.

The Magistrates Court in Derry has already heard submissions from the applicants.

Their lawyer's told the court last week that the Derry City Council organised festive event was similar to continental markets held in a number of cities on both sides of the border.

He said the event had the full support of the Council and pointed out that the police had no objections to the market.

However, there are others who are not so happy.

Seven objections against the application have been received, by the proprietors of five city centre pubs - the Metro Bar, Downey's Bar, the Monico Bar, the River Inn and Tracey's Bar.

These pubs are all located within a short distance of Guildhall Square, and the owners believe that setting up a temporary bar so close to the Guildhall area could have a damaging effect on their trade during the busy Christmas season.

The market would be within Derry City Council's designated no on-street drinking zone, but would not be subject to those restrictions.

Both sides in this dispute are due again at Bishop Street Courthouse on Tuesday, when it's hoped the applicants and the objectors can narrow the legal debate.

But lawyers for those behind the proposed market have said publicly that if the licence isn't granted for a bar at the market, then there will be no Christmas market.

© UTV News
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14 Comments
Lee in Belfast wrote (531 days ago):
why does this country have to put alcohol into the equation in order to have fun? people cant do anything without having a few beers or vodkas attached to it , its sad... if you cant go out with some friends or family without having a drink to loosen up then you are a very sad and boring individual.
Barry in Broughshane wrote (531 days ago):
What a crazy city, they complain when the ABOD bring crowds to spend money in the city, they complain when the Olympic torch is passing through, they are now complaining about the Christmas market which will bring people into the city, Lighten up a wee bit Merry Christmas Derry/Londonderry
seamas in belfast wrote (531 days ago):
If the bars in Derry at Christmas are anything like the ones in Belfast I’ve no sympathy for them. They crowd the punters in and charge them an arm and a leg for a bottle of beer bought at Makro for a fraction of the price. Over priced Xmas dinners slopped out by harried waitresses to customers squeezed together like sardines and surly aggressive bouncers strong as an ox and nearly as smart and all the customer care of a concentration camp dentist.
doirecormac in derry wrote (533 days ago):
Bah, humbug Sarge. You're not a former resident of Ballymena, are you? Let's tie up the swings on Sunday too, just to be on the safe side. There will probably be music as well. 'Tis the devil's work!
Peter in Cookstown wrote (533 days ago):
Well, I 100% agree with these objections from the local bars within the area. These Bars within the City centre pay serious rates, rent, taxes etc because of there prime locations. This chancer coming up from the bogside needs to catch himself on. At the same time I agree with Sarge, the christmas market is about christmas, its not the october feast we are dealing with. But at the same time this will still draw vital trade away from the exsisting Publicians which I believe is wrong. To say the christmas market will be cancelled because there is no drink is rediculas.
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