One of Dublin’s most iconic and atmospheric events during the festive season is set to close.
The Christmas Flea Market, at Point Square, provided Dubliners with great gift choices, which attracted 73,000 visitors last year across two weekends in December.
News of the closure has provoked comments on Facebook, with organisers Sharon, Aisling, Luca and Dave posting: “Over the last six months we have tried our best to figure out the future of the Dublin Flea Christmas Market.
“We have applied for numerous grant applications, reached out to scores of organisations, individuals and public bodies for support and investigated as many viable alternative venues as possible.
“However, sadly, we have come to the heavy realisation that, at this time, there is insufficient infrastructure and support for an event of this type and scale in Dublin city.
“It is quite unbelievable that an event, which had an estimated spend of well over €3 million, which received more than 600 submissions to trade from all over the country in 20018, and attracted 73,000 visitors, can be closing down because there is nowhere for it to operate and no support forthcoming. We are devastated.
“However, we believe we can be proud of what we achieved. The collaboration that took place between the Dublin Flea, our 300 start-up and small, creative-enterprise traders, and the public in 2018 showed us what is possible.
“We will be refocusing our energy in the coming weeks into lobbying local and central government, asking them to acknowledge that this city is in dire need of more cultural and event spaces.
“We will be working on a proposal and a petition to gather ideas and support for this campaign. We will be in back in touch with more on this shortly.”
A Dublin City Council (DCC) spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate that the Dublin Christmas Flea has taken the decision to cease operations, but we completely understand why.
“Locating a suitable alternative venue in the current property climate is extremely difficult, particularly for creative and cultural initiatives.
“However, DCC is still actively exploring potential sites to host this, and similar events, for the future.
“Over the past three years, teams from DCC have worked closely with the organisers of the Christmas Flea, providing a range of supports and assistance to help grow the event.
“[The Christmas Flea team] should be applauded for the significant efforts that they have made over the years, not just with the positive impact they have had on the economy, but also in adding to the craft, creative and cultural fabric of the city during the Christmas period.
“We remain hopeful that this is not the end of the journey and that a viable solution can be found to allow the Dublin Christmas Flea Market to return,” they said.