Buskers told to ‘lower the tone’ in Kerry

Gardaí in Killarney are to investigate the behaviour of some street entertainers after councillors complained the public were being insulted, foul language was being used to tourists, and some buskers simply “lowered the tone”.

A move to regulate buskers and all street entertainers in Kerry is under way and a permit system is being considered, with some form of audition process likely.

Last year, amid a crescendo of complaints from staff in shops and offices, mayor of Killarney Niall Kelleher said a permit system, which would limit performers to certain hours and locations, was the way forward.

Those bylaws are now being drafted, a council meeting was told in Killarney, after Mr Kelleher, a Fianna Fáil councillor, complained the laws were supposed to have been in place for this tourist season.

I’m a bit like a broken record myself here. I put this motion down 12 months ago and was told bylaws for buskers would be implemented for the tourist season this year. We have a severe problem in Killarney with regard to busking and the nature of it,” he said.

While he was firmly in favour of busking and even wanted to create a performance bandstand, he said “we have some people who think they can sing and they can’t”.

“Others who think they are entertaining use foul language and this is unacceptable and I am delighted we have raised this with the gardaí this morning and they are going to look into it,” said Mr Kelleher. “Hurling insults and using foul language at tourists is degrading.”

Mr Kelleher, promising to lodge a formal complaint the next time he witnessed such behaviour, was critical of Galway, saying it brought in laws allowing amplification after 6pm without a time limit.

Fianna Fáil councillor John Joe Culloty said he had encountered “vulgarity” less than 100m from the chamber and wanted a ban on all street amplification by buskers.

Independent Alliance councillor Michael Gleeson said if the policy nationally is to bring people back to live in town centres, they had to be allowed live in peace and quiet. “Some of them lower the tone of the place,” he said of the entertainment.


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