Despite councillors rejecting moves to have the controversial issue of amplified busking discussed at City Hall, attempts are being made to raise the issue again.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ollie Crowe has this week written to Mayor Donal Lyons requesting the issue of Amplified Busking be on the agenda of the first city council meeting in September.
This is despite a motion from Cllr Crowe on July 21 to add the item to the September agenda being voted down by Fine Gael, Labour, and a number of Independent councillors. Mayor Lyons, though, was among the Independents who supported Cllr Crowe’s original motion, leading to speculation in Fianna Fáil that he may support moves to add the issue to the agenda.
Amplified busking has become controversial following representations from city centre businesses claiming the noise level is affecting staff and driving away customers.
Those behind moves to ban the use of amplifiers are keen to stress they are not calling for a ban on busking itself. To that end, a number of city businesses pledged to provide funding for a busking competition in exchange for an end to amplified busking.
Cllr Crowe described this as a “positive contribution” which would “provide buskers with a great opportunity to showcase their talents”. However he added it was also a “signal” of shop owners “frustration with the current status quo”.
“The conditions under which employees work during busking season make their working days incredibly difficult,” he said. “One lady informed me about a busker who sets up stall outside where she works and plays the same three songs incredibly loudly for hours on end. It is an issue which has been unaddressed for far too long and we now have a duty to implement regulation in order to put a halt to this madness.”