Festive Spirit  | 

Traders delight as Dublin's oldest Christmas market 'back with a bang' on Henry Street

Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Joe Costello tries out a Christmas jumper on Henry Street

Allison Bray

Christmas market stall-holder Sadie Grace lit up when she went back to her beloved perch on Dublin's Henry Street yesterday.

Ms Grace is among 42 Christmas stall-holders who went back to their stalls on Henry and Mary Streets in Dublin's northside yesterday and she was delighted to back in business again as part of the capital's oldest Christmas market.

"There's a lovely atmosphere," she said after powering up the portable electric generator at her stall to demonstrate the array of Christmas lights she is flogging, along with wrapping paper and festive gift bags.

She has been a fixture at the annual Christmas market for more than 60 years after she first began selling Yuletide wares at the stall at the age of eight, having followed in the footsteps of her late mother, Sally, who was a legendary year-round market trader on Henry Street for generations.

Sadie Grace

After a muted market last year due to Covid restrictions when only a couple dozen of the 76 licensed stall-holders were in operation for the 12 days of Christmas, Ms Grace said she is happy to be back and thanked her loyal customers for their support.

"We're lucky, we always have the public behind us," she said.

While there was a distinctive note of caution in the air, with traders and customers alike donning masks, Ms Grace said the street was buzzing with festive cheer like the good old days before the pandemic.

"Everybody is in high spirits," she said.

Henry Street Christmas market

Her only hope is the threat posed by the pandemic and the latest Omicron variant of the virus doesn't lead to more restrictions.

Joe Costello, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin and Dublin city councillor for the north inner city, officially launched the market yesterday on behalf of Dublin City Council.

He too welcomed the return of the stall-holders, whom he hopes will not only keep the city's festive tradition alive but will also generate some much-needed footfall into the city centre over the next three weeks in the run-up to Christmas.

"It's back now with a bang," he told the Herald.

"It will bring a bit of colour and buzz to the city, it's much-needed."

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