Big row over Limerick Milk Market

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A BITTER battle is erupting between Cllr Tom Shortt and Limerick Chamber over his efforts to have them sacked from the job of managing the Milk Market.

A BITTER battle is erupting between Cllr Tom Shortt and Limerick Chamber over his efforts to have them sacked from the job of managing the Milk Market.

He says the Chamber is not value for the €60,000 it gets paid to manage the Market Trustees, but the Chamber has hit back strongly at his comments, saying they “championed its redevelopment “at a time when no other organisation had an active interest.”

In a hard hitting letter, due to be published in this weekend’s Limerick Leader, Cllr Shortt wrote: “The record actually shows that the Chamber has been negligent regarding the proper corporate governance of the Trustees and has not fulfilled the promise to introduce fresh business initiatives in order to merit the payment of management fees of €60,000 per year at a time when the Trustees must borrow in order to transfer this money to the Chamber, storing up a problem for the Trustees into the future.”

However, the Chamber has hit back, pointing out that the last quarter has been “the most commercially succesful period since the redevelopment of the market.”

Chamber president Gordon Kearney said that the Labour northside councillor should have been aware of this information, because he is a member of the management committee charged with developing the market.

Mr Kearney said the Chamber has been the “key driver” in the multi-million euro redevelopment of the Milk Market.

“Today we have a market venue with a new lease of life and an increasing number of market days and variety of produce on offer. We have extended its activities to include community and charity events, evening concerts and other events. All of this is happening under one roof in the heart of the city centre. With over 500,000 visitors in the last year, the Milk Market has been developed into one of the most successful markets in Ireland, and the Limerick Chamber takes pride in its stewardship and the contributions it has made,” Mr Kearney added.

He pointed out the Milk Market had received a National Award for Best Heritage Project and was a finalist in the Best Community Project category in recent months.

However, he said any debate on the Milk Market was welcome.