Future of circuses and funfairs uncertain due to Covid-19

Future of circuses and funfairs uncertain due to Covid-19
Night scene at Funderland, Monahan's Road, Cork. Pic: Larry Cummins.

The future of the country's circuses and funfairs is uncertain due to the Covid-19 restrictions which has seen many show people out of work.

The Irish Showman’s Guild, which represents funfairs and circuses nationwide, has issued a plea to the government to show flexibility for show people during the pandemic.

It is calling on the government, insurers and banks on behalf of all its funfairs and circuses to show some flexibility during the uncertain time.

The guild is fearful that funfairs and circuses will not reopen after the pandemic due to the cost of paying staff and venues.

The unique culture of show people who operate these funfairs and circuses is on the brink of extinction due to the current Covid-19 restrictions.

Show people who earn a seasonal income work year-round in preparation for their performances during the summer months and are now faced with financial difficulties with the cancellation of public gatherings and events.

Earlier this month, Funderland had to cancel its 25th Easter event in Cork city and the cancellation of St Patrick’s Day celebrations across the country saw many show people out of work.

The guild does not qualify for aid or assistance during the pandemic and its application for cultural status is on hold.

A spokesperson for Tom Duffy’s Circus, which is temporarily closed, said: “We offer our sincerest sympathies to each and every family who have lost a loved one, family member or friend to this terrible virus. This is a critical time for our country and the people who call it home.

“We’d like to once again take this opportunity to remind everyone to follow the very good advice of the government to help us protect ourselves, our families and our country. Stay home, self-isolate if you need to and take care of your family.

“If everyone does this our country will get back to normal as quickly as possible. As a circus, community and family, we will be back along with all the other circuses and funfairs in the country, just as soon as it’s deemed safe for us to entertain you again.”

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