When a Lidl is not enough - complaints over discounter produce sold in English Market

Fishmonger Pat O’Connell says practice goes against the ethos of the historic Cork market

Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Cork’s English Market in 2011. Photograph: Alan Betson.

A prominent trader at the English Market in Cork has expressed his disappointment at the news that a fellow trader is selling vegetables

from Lidl, saying it goes against the traders' aim of trying to showcase the market as the home of fresh Irish produce.

Fishmonger Pat O'Connell who became synonymous with the English Market when he was photographed joking with Queen Elizabeth during her visit in 2011, said such practices were a source of frustration to many of the traders.

“It goes against the whole ethos of what this market is about – we take huge pride in being able to say this produce is fresh and it’s local but something like this goes against the culture of the market and what it should be about and what it is about for most traders,” he said.

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Marked-up rate

Mr O’Connell made his comments on Cork’s 96FM

Opinion Line

after the show investigated and confirmed reports that one of the traders, Michael O’Herlihy of The Farmer stall was buying some of his vegetables at a Lidl in Cork and selling it at a marked-up rate.

Opinion Line Presenter PJ Coogan told The Irish Times that Mr O'Herlihy had declined to come on air to discuss the matter but had confirmed off air that he was selling produce bought at Lidl.

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96FM

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producer Deirdre O’Shaughnessy told on air she had visited The Farmer on Monday and found that the stall was selling Lidl brand Oaklands spinach, kale and baby potatoes with labels saying “Packaged for Lidl”.

Listeners to 96FM reported seeing the same baby potatoes for 49 cent, but they were being sold at The Farmer stall for €1 per bag, said Ms O’Shaughnessy, who stressed Mr O’Herlihy was not claiming that the vegetables were local or organic.

The Irish Times was unable to contact Mr O'Herlihy for comment about the practice, which is not illegal. A spokesman for Cork City Council which owns the market, said they were aware of the issue and "the matter was in hand".

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times