'Steps need to be put in place': Call for busking regulations in Cork city 

'Steps need to be put in place': Call for busking regulations in Cork city 

A local councillor saying unregulated busking is causing serious disruption to both residents and businesses in the city. Stock image 

THERE have been fresh calls for regulation of busking in Cork City, with a local councillor saying the issue is causing serious disruption to both residents and businesses in the city.

Independent councillor for Cork North Central Ken O’Flynn said he had been contacted by a former resident in a city centre apartment who had left her home because relentless busking on her doorstep had made her life unbearable.

He said it was eight years since he first submitted a motion to Cork City Council requesting a limit for busking times and a repertoire of at least 20 songs for each performer.

He also called for amplification to be restricted and suggested a distance of 50m between musicians.

Mr O’Flynn added that the issue is only getting worse.

“I recently had one woman who moved out because she was demented from buskers playing loudly outside her window at 2am,” Mr Flynn said.

“People forget that, even though they are in an urban area, there can still be apartments over shops where this is causing serious disturbance.”

According to Mr O’Flynn, the situation eventually proved too much for the occupant, who moved out of the apartment.

“She told me straight out that she couldn’t live there anymore,” he said.

“She had enough and was moving out.

“This was someone who had to be up at 7am to go to work, so it was impossible for her to function as she was,” Mr O’Flynn added.

He said that residents have little protection.

“As a tenant, you don’t have any rights in this situation,” he said.

“It’s not like you can ring the gardaí and tell them that there’s someone playing guitar outside your door.

“There is nothing to say that they have to move them on.

“At the moment, the sun is shining and there is a great atmosphere in Cork City, but steps need to be put in place to ensure people are protected from this kind of disturbance.”

The politician said that he had also received complaints from businesses.

“The ratepayers have been contacting me saying that a busker outside the shop has been playing the same song multiple times and staff are complaining,” he said.

“This is something that business owners have been complaining about for years,” Mr O’Flynn explained.

“It’s like having one of those tapes from the ’80s stuck in the cassette player of your car that won’t stop playing,” he added.

Mr O’Flynn stressed that this would not be happening if formerly proposed bylaws had been introduced.

“The bylaws I wanted to introduce were very similar to the bylaws introduced in Covent Garden, where they embed silver coins to indicate where buskers are allowed to play.

“You’re also only allowed to play there for a certain length of time to avoid people hogging the same spot,” the councillor said.

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