Lochside Garage

Local entrepreneurs bring festive market to Enniskillen

A GROUP of enthusiastic local entrepreneurs have got together to spread a little Christmas cheer in the county by organising a Fermanagh festive market.
Organisers have told the ‘Herald they are planning on starting small, but hope to build the market over the coming years to become an event that will attract people to the area. However, with 15 stalls already signed up for the three-day market at Enniskillen Castle from November 25-27, the event will already have plenty of choice on offer for local shoppers.
Rosie Keaney from Belleek, one of the organisers, said the idea was inspired by her sister Michelle McGee.
Last year, at the height of the Covid lockdowns when local crafters and small businesses struggled to reach their costumers, Catherine organised the Fermanagh Virtual Market and Craft Fair. With 44 small local businesses signing up, and over 4,000 members on its Facebook group, the online market has been a great success.
Now Rosie, Catherine and over a dozen other small business people are hoping to build on that success for Christmas.
“Long term, I’d like the Fermanagh Christmas Market to be something like the Belfast market… getting people to come to the area and supporting local businesses,” said Rosie.
“That’s the vision, but at the minute we’re starting small. We want to get local people involved and build it further.”
At the upcoming market, which takes place from 11am-3pm on each of the three days, there will be a range of stalls from crafts to jewellery to hand-made Christmas decorations, to vegan-friendly cosmetics from Rosie herself, who is a Tropic representative.
And all sellers will be from across the wider Fermanagh area.
There will be plenty of festive fun onsite, and yuletide treats on offer from the Giddy Box, which will be opening especially for the market.
There will also be deep sense of community among the stall holders, who have been meeting virtually online for some time now.
“The planning has all been virtual,” said Rosie. “We haven’t seen each other, I don’t even know half of these women! But I’m looking forward to seeing them in person now, because we’ve built up a relationship.”
Rosie, who used to run Castle Island Adventure Centre in Enniskillen and Toddle In at SWAH, said her sister Catherine had been particularly good at helping organise the market.
She believes both of them inherited their entrepreneurial spirit from their parents, Tess and Gerry McGrath.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA