A West Cork TD wants proper facilities for country markets, such as ESB connections, water supplies, covered stands and toilets.
Even a limited amount of funding would go a long way to addressing basic deficiencies for stallholders who are currently operating on an ad hoc basis, according to the Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, Jim Daly.
Deputy Daly has raised the issue with the CEO of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey. And he also raised the matter in the Dáil last week and called on the Minister for Agriculture to consider the plan.
Deputy Daly said country markets have become hugely popular around the country and are worthy of financial support.
‘These markets play a pivotal role in our tourism and food industry and deserve support from the State agencies,’ said Deputy Daly.
The TD acknowledged that Cork County Council is in the process of taking the markets ‘in charge’ but said: ‘It is crucial that this move does not come with too much red tape attached.’
Too much bureaucracy could, he maintained, discourage smaller traders from participating in the markets.
Deputy Daly suggested that the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed TD, could expand the brief of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) to allow local authorities apply for funding to improve the country markets.