THERE were joyous scenes this morning as Limerick’s Milk Market began trading again for the first time in seven weeks.
Alongside many other businesses in the city, the popular covered facility at Mungret Street ceased trading due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But following the government roadmap allowing the reinstatement of farmers’ markets, management under the canopy re-opened on a limited basis this weekend.
There were fewer stalls, the crowds were lower, but both traders and regular customers were delighted to be back.
Market boss David Fitzgerald said: “It’s nice to see friendly faces at a distance. We’re seeing a nice steady crowd, low numbers. We have fruit and vegetable stores. It’s great to have that back.”
David said the maximum occupancy of the market on Saturday was 100 – and they were operating entrance and exits on each side.
But the most people in the facility early on was 60, he added.
“It’s ticking along at a nice steady flow. It’s nothing like we are used to, but it’s ticking on,” he added.
Mimi Crawford, Crawford’s Farm, said: “It’s a different atmosphere. But It’s good to be back. It’s nice to see. Our day-to-day hasn’t changed that much as we deal with animals! To be honest, our sales have gone up. But the premise of our business is customer interaction, so this is the outlet for that.”
Marie Hussey of Marie’s Cheese Shop said she’s actually “quite emotional” to be back again.
”It’s great to see all our friends. It’s just incredible. The last few weeks to tell you the truth have been quite sad. But it’s great to be back,” she told the Limerick Leader.
Ciara Brennan, Happy Food at Home, said her first morning back has been busy “but at a slower pace”.
“It’s lovely to see our regular customers back. David Fitzgerald and the team have done brilliant in setting us all up. I feel very safe, content and happy to see all my mates,” she added.
It's back - but with social distancing! Never seen the @milk_market so empty of a Saturday morning but it's great to see it open again after #Covid19 lockdown. For more, check out the @Limerick_Leader this lunchtime. pic.twitter.com/DVHOK0TICq— Nick Rabbitts (@Nick468official) May 23, 2020