City businesses call for ban on noisy busking

William Street businesses are calling on the Galway City Council to ban buskers from using amplifiers when performing, claiming that it is causing a disturbance for staff and customers.

In a letter sent to city manager Joe O’Neill this week, the traders ask that “the use of all forms of amplification by street performers at all times for the entire year” be prohibited.

The traders are keen to point out that they “welcome buskers to Galway as it creates a wonderful ambience to our city”. However they feel the noise created by those who use “electric/battery powered speakers cause much distress” to people working in shops and to customers “due to excess loudness”.

The letter also draws attention to the proposed new Street Performance (Prohibited Periods ) Bye-Laws which propose to have no busking between 11pm, and 9am from November to February and no busking between midnight and 9am from March to October. Submissions on the proposed law can be made in writing until Monday May 23.

Paul O’Brien of O’Brien’s Newsagents says the traders’ concerns relate only to the noise levels emitted by amplifiers and not with the right of people to busk on the street.

“We are happy to see busking continue,” Mr O’Brien told the Galway Advertiser. “Some musicians with amplifiers will turn them down when asked but many will not and they can be particularly loud.

“Many of the shops here are badly affected by amplification. A number of shops, particularly on a Saturday, have to close their doors, the sound is so bad and so loud.”

The letter is signed by O’Brien’s Newsagents, Premoli Shoes, Lazlo Jewellers, Matt O’Flaherty Chemist, the Galway Camera Shop, Foot Locker, A Hartmann & Son, Treasure Chest, Meteor, Tribes, Grafton Hair, H Samuel, Galway Gifts, Vision Express, Zerep, Powell’s, Chocolate Box, Hearts of Galway, Therapie, Butler’s Chocolate Café, The Army surplus Store, The Body Shop, The Perfume Shop, and Ten Twenty.

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