Street entertainment is central to Galway’s "success as a thriving city, and its attractiveness to visitors", according to Labour Galway City East candidate, Liam Boyle, who has pledged his opposition to the controversial busking bye-laws.
Mr Boyle was speaking at the ‘Busk the Ballot’ event, which took place in Eyre Square this weekend and was run by the Galway Buskers Community. The bye-laws, as proposed, would severely restrict buskers' abilities to perform in the city centre, and in some cases confine them to the Spanish Arch area only.
"When I came to Galway in the 1970s it seemed there was only one busker in the city, Terry Smith who entertained the queues outside the Claddagh Palace cinema," Mr Boyle told the event. "Over the years I’ve seen the numbers of buskers grow and a range of talent inhabit our streets, bringing colour and vibrancy to the city centre. Recently I watched the awe on my granddaughter’s face when she encountered Emma O’Sullivan dancing on Shop Street."
Mr Boyle pledged his support for the city's buskers and his opposition to the draft Bye-laws. He said he would work with buskers on appropriate regulation or codes of practice which would "protect the wonderful contribution busking makes to the life of the city".