'It's Kinsale's Eiffel Tower': Locals will fight for the historic Piper’s Wagon

A petition calling on the council to reverse their decision was initiated in recent days by Marc O’Riain, the local Green Party representative, and has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.
'It's Kinsale's Eiffel Tower': Locals will fight for the historic Piper’s Wagon

Showman Bill Piper sitting on the steps of his traditional showman caravan.

THE DECISION by Cork County Council to remove Piper’s showman’s wagon from Short Quay in Kinsale has led to much anger from locals in the town.

A petition calling on the council to reverse their decision was initiated in recent days by Marc O’Riain, the local Green Party representative, and has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.

Mr O’Riain said people see Piper’s traditional show caravan as synonymous with Kinsale.

“People are really irritated and incensed. Everybody’s kids went to the funfair. They are part of our cultural and social heritage,” he said.

He also said he is hopeful a solution can be found to the current impasse.

“Everybody in Kinsale is annoyed. It is like taking away a core part of the town. There is a solution to be found if somebody is willing to find it. It just seems to be intransigence on behalf of certain councillors who don’t want the wagon in Short Quay.”

Independent councillor Alan Coleman said the picturesque and traditional wooden caravan is an “iconic” piece of Kinsale tradition.

“It is causing huge upset in the town and there seems to be no logical reason for it.

“The caravan is there since 1932. The family is well known and popular in the local community. Initially, they used to live in it.

“It is Kinsale’s Eiffel Tower. It is part of the furniture in Kinsale. I have yet to get a clear statement as to why this is being done.

“Mr Piper has moved the caravan out and he is flexible. He will move to any part of the Short Quay.”

Mr Coleman said the issue is not over by any means.

“As councillors we voted to keep them in the Short Quay last year, but it is an executive decision. They seem adamant to get him out of town. We discussed it last Wednesday at our [municipal district] meeting and there was a heated debate. We will be discussing it again. This matter is not over by any means.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Sean O’Donovan is also unhappy about the move.

“It is shocking and not good enough. It is getting rid of a piece of history that has been in Kinsale for 90 years. We should be celebrating and embracing them. There is a lot of anger in Kinsale.”

Marie O’Sullivan who runs a café in Kinsale said she hopes a solution can be found.

“I hope an agreeable solution can be found for all the stakeholders involved. There is confusion in the town. It was landed on us last week. Hopefully, common sense will prevail.”

Cork County Council was approached for comment.

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