Introducing a code of conduct for city buskers has met a hostile reception from city businesses who are demanding by-laws instead to give gardaí the power to confiscate amplifiers for musicians who go over 75db in volume.
It is understood a code of conduct is to be introduced in the summer but businesses are concerned saying it will be a "non legal code" and largely unenforceable. "There is no written guarantee that the Garda or community wardens will act with the code of conduct," said business owner and city councillor Niall McNelis
The issues of concern relate to volume levels, performance times, and 'circle acts', non-musical performers who draw large crowds in a circle around them during a display. The Galway City Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and numerous businesses, and some buskers, have also submitted requests for performing acts to be limited in any one location to two hours.
Cllr McNelis also said businesses want by-laws that limit amplification to 75db, and that if a busker refuses to reduce the sound below that when asked by gardaí or a warden, the amps can be removed. He is also calling for 'circle acts' to be restricted on Shop Street until after 6pm. "These would be agreeable to businesses if prior arrangement was done with city council or Gardaí," he said.
Cllr McNelis stressed that there is "only a small minority of buskers causing the majority of problems". He added: "No one doubts how important it is for the city to have a vibrant, colourful, cross section of street acts in Galway city. That is why it is a pity that all that is being put forward are guidelines and not enforceable by-laws."