Killarney businesses turning up speakers to drown out buskers

Call for long-awaited bylaws as councillors told US tourists have also complained about 'insulting' material from one performer
Killarney businesses turning up speakers to drown out buskers

Buskers can add great atmosphere to towns like Killarney but the noise can also be an issue.

Businesses in Killarney are turning up their amplifiers and putting speakers outside in an attempt to outperform the noise from mobile buskers, a council meeting was told in the latest in a series of motions on the issue.

American tourists have complained about the language and tone of one busker, it has also emerged.

Councillors reiterated their demands for long-awaited bylaws to clamp down on the buskers in the busy town, with some reports that night-busking in Killarney starts around 11pm.

Mayor of Killarney Niall Kelleher said he was “like a broken record” calling for the issue to be addressed. However, he defended good busking saying “there was nothing better than quality busking in any town”.

There is nothing better than quality busking under parameters in any town and that’s what we strive to have. But we don’t have that.

Mr Kelleher, who is also the president of the Chamber of Commerce, said busking was town specific as no two locations for buskers were the same.

Independent councillor Donal Grady said one busker in particular in Killarney was “waking the whole town”.

However, the meeting was informed that while bylaws were in train for buskers, businesses also needed to be looked at.

“A few businesses need to be looked also at with regard to decibels and amplification,” Cllr Brendan Cronin (Ind) said.

This was because the pubs were trying to keep the buskers away from their doors, the mayor explained.

“Businesses are putting up speakers to keep others from their doors,” Mr Kelleher said.

Call for licensing system

Meanwhile, local hotelier and councillor Niall O’Callaghan has again called for a licensing system.

He has received complaints from American tourists and others this summer over “insulting” material including anti-Trump songs from one international busker who was also spotted busking in Aberdeen, Scotland, this summer.

“I have no problem with busking. But you should have to apply for a licence. At least then you have control,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Enforcement officers are also needed to monitor the language and location of the buskers, he said.

“I have had phone calls and complaints from American tourists and others about insulting material,” he said.

2Tourists who came to Killarney for a break should not have to put up with insults or political material, he said. Under a licensing system, an enforcement officer would be able to tackle this."

There is no control at the moment.

Regulation for busking in the tourist town has been on the agenda for 20 years.

Council management said it is preparing draft bylaws but has not indicated if a permit system is to be introduced in Killarney.

The new laws will go before the public this winter, management pledged.

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