Kinvara Farmers’ Market under threat of closure

Under threat of closure the popular award winning Kinvara Farmers’ Market is calling on the support of those who would like to see the continuation of this thriving community market to make submissions to its road closure application which will be adverised from today, March 6.

Kinvara Farmers Market (KFM ) has been in existence for five years, and with 30 plus traders it is one of the busiest markets in County Galway. However, last month the Galway County Council’s local area office informed the traders that it has recommended refusal of the market’s annual application for road closure.

The market started off in Johnstone’s Gardens, off Kinvara’s Main Street, but due to dwindling trade it was decided to move to the appropriately named Market Square. Having waited since 2007 for changes in the by-laws, road closure of Market Square was applied for and granted. The application has been successful for two years, however, this year it is felt by the Gort local area office that there is a pressing right of way coupled with traffic safety issues.

According to a statement, KFM treats traffic management “very seriously and have always worked with the council and the gardai to ensure public safety”. A traffic management plan was drawn up and is implemented every Friday. Bollards line the streets at crucial points to allow a smooth through-flow and great care is taken not to block access to landowners’ fields.

“Kinvara Farmers’ Market is a unique and thriving market. There are more than 30 local businesses trying to make a living here. The market and its location is fully endorsed by the local community council. Local businesses are looking forward to its return in April. It brings much needed business to the village.

“The market receives grant aid from the Department of Community and Enterprise at Galway County Council each year. The County Mayor gave the award for Social Inclusion last year to the Brothers of Charity for the work they undertake with their clients at Kinvara Farmers’ Market. KFM has won an Excellence in Food Award from Bord Bia. In 2011 KFM was nominated for the Mayor’s Award. The County Galway Development Plan clearly states that local farmers’ and producers’ market are to be encouraged. Yet the by-laws remain unchanged and the council’s local area office seems not to want to deal with the situation. To the dismay of the KFM, they have steadfastly refused to meet to discuss the issues,” said a KFM spokesperson who added other locations have been considered, including the council’s suggestions, but none of these offers the level of safety, visibility, and thus sustainability of Kinvara’s Market Square.

Supporters are encouraged to make contact with the director of services, roads, transportation, marine and general services, Galway County Council, no later than 4pm on Friday March 14.


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