Killarney needs new busking by-laws by St Patrick’s Day 2019 at the latest, according to former mayor and current Municipal District Councillor Niall Kelleher. Cllr Kelleher raised the issue at an MD meeting last week where he was told by town management that the matter would be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the Arts, Culture and Tourism Strategic Policy Committee.

As highlighted in the Killarney Advertiser earlier this year, many locals have expressed concerns about the standard and tone of some of the town’s buskers.  One performer in particular, Eric “Scotty” Gudmunsen (aka the Donald Trump guy) was singled out for the allegedly offensive nature of some of his material, and the topic was discussed by councillors at the time. Gudmunsen subsequently made amendments to his act.

Other performers, it was noted by councillors, were of a low standard and some repeated their songs throughout the day, which was annoying for local employees.

Other cities and towns have introduced auditions for buskers, which has apparently raised the quality of the music heard on the streets. In Galway, for instance, specific laws were brought in last May. The use of amplification is not permitted until after 6pm, young performers (under the age of 16) have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and ‘circle acts’ are not allowed to perform on the main thoroughfare until after 6pm.

Other cities only allow buskers to perform for a certain period of time, say two hours, after which they have to move on to a new location.

It will be interesting to see what the council does about this issue as it is clearly something that affects the town’s brand.

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