“A city with no housing and no markets is not a city.”- The Dublin Flea Market
The much-loved Dublin Flea Market closed in May this year, along with a number of other markets that were also held in Newmarket Square. They had been forced to move by developers taking over Newmarket Square, with plans to build new offices. Right next to the two new hotels opening up down the street and the extortionately priced student accommodation.
In September Dublin Flea Market posted a location update on their Facebook page, the update being that they still have no place to base their market in. After creating business plans and documents with other markets in an effort to find a new location, they have been turned away by the city council, estate agents and the OPW. They have fallen into the same game that renters in Dublin face, constantly competing to win a bid. The Dublin Flea has around 80 stalls, making finding a large enough space even more difficult in the current climate.
Dublin has seen the closure of seven weekend markets this summer - The Dublin Flea Market, Brocante Dublin, Fusion Sundays, Pure Vintage Fair, Rumble in the Jumble, The New Market Collective and the Grand Social’s Ha’penny Market. In the flea's own words “A city with no housing and no markets is not a city.”
Market culture is prolific in most European cities and is integral to the food scene in Cork and Limerick, so why is Dublin hindered like this? The Limerick Milk Market, one of the oldest markets in the country, was renovated for €2 million a few years ago, supported by Limerick City Council. They did this to sustain the market and let it flourish. It now has an impressive canopy, turning it into an all weather, six days a week food hub.
The English Market in Cork is one of the city’s main attractions and farmers' markets in Cork happen almost every day of the week. Located mostly in car parks, they showcase some of the best produce in the region. Food markets instill a sense of community and a connection to where our food comes from,
and the Dublin Flea was an integral part of Dublin 8. While we still have city centre markets like the Temple Bar Food Market and Eatyard, both offering high quality produce and hot food (along with a new 'continental-style food hall' on the cards for St Andrews Church just off Dame Street later this year), the Dublin Flea embodied the creative neighbourhood in which it was located. Stalls within the market are also taking a blow due to the closure, losing a main source of their income.
The Dublin Flea ended their online update on a somber note, “We are very sorry. We really miss it. We really miss you. We stay ever hopeful, although frustrated and we thank you for your support and encouragement.”
Where to find the food traders while the Flea looks for a new home...
Scéal Bakery is continuing to trade at Pender’s Yard market in Stoneybatter every Sunday. You can also find their breads and pastries at The Fumbally and Proper Order Coffee, and can catch their sourdough making workshops in their bakery in Smithfield.
The Dublin Food Co-op is relocating to Kilmainham and plans to be in their new premises by mid-November. You can find White Mausu’s Peanut Rayu in a number of shops in Dublin, including Avoca, The Cake Café and The Cupcake Bloke.
Until the return of the market, you can get your falafel fix at The Fumbally, where the stand is originally from, and Camerino Bakery can now be found in two of their own locations, Capel Street and Merrion Square.
The Christmas Flea will also return to the Point Village from the 6th - 9th and 13th - 16th of December, where loads of the original vendors will be popping up again. More details to come on that soon.