Athenry Mart will reopen next Monday after its licence was suspended due to a breach of COVID-19 licence conditions, Michael Francis Murphy, the chair of the mart’s committee, has said.

“We will be back open on Monday for sure. We’ve supplied the Department [of Agriculture] with anything they needed.

“I’m assured from the Department that everything they were supplied [with], they’re 100% happy with. It’s just a matter of getting the go ahead from them,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.

There had been issues “such as mask wearing and social distancing” at the mart, he said.

“Social distancing will have to be better adhered to and everyone will have to wear a m?ask,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture suspended the Galway mart’s licence on Friday last 22 April.“Department officials are in contact with management at the mart in order to progress matters,” a Department spokesperson said.

“Any mart that is currently trading has had its Level 5 COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOPs) approved by Department officials.”

Elphin and Dowra

Meanwhile, Elphin Mart in Roscommon and Dowra Mart in Cavan will resume sales this week after both marts cancelled sales last week.

Terry McGovern of Dowra told the Irish Farmers Journal that the decision to close was an “in-house decision” after a number of staff were identified as close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Dowra’s sheep sale takes place on Friday and the cattle sale takes place on Saturday.

Elphin Mart reopened on Wednesday evening after it closed last week following HSE advice, after a mart customer was confirmed as a close contact of a person with COVID-19.