Some business in Dublin city centre disapprove of the casual traders who have been operating around Henry Street for generations.
The Dublin City Centre Business Association represents the bigger businesses in the area including Arnotts, Roches Stores and the ILAC centre. The association has published a report following their conference 'Towards a Better Dublin'. Under the heading 'Security: Immediate Action' they state
All the laws which create a civilised society must be kept including the removal of beggars, known criminals, illegal traders, organised shoplifters, pickpockets, drug pushers, and unauthorised car-parking attendants.
The business association opposes the provision of sites around the city centre for some of the longest serving street traders. However, the women are still on Henry Street and continue to trade. The case is now in the official hands of the courts.
Some of the traders describe their working conditions and how they got into this kind of work. One woman comments,
I'm the mother of 15 children. I'd no choice only to get out. It was either rob or sell. You could go to prison for robbing or go to prison for selling... the best way is to be honest
The women also discuss the conflict with big business which goes back to 1982 when new laws were introduced against street trading.
'The Women's Programme' broadcast on 20 December 1985. The reporter is Nuala Hayes.