Talks to be held to end Kinsale Piper’s fun fair row

The talks are aimed at finding a solution to keep the traditional funfair in Kinsale and to allow the Piper family to park their showman’s wagon on Kinsale’s Short Quay.
Talks to be held to end Kinsale Piper’s fun fair row

Brendan Piper, Piper's Fun Fair Kinsale with the showman's wagon currently being kept at his home near Glandore, Co. Cork. Photograph: David Forsythe

THE chair of the Bandon/Kinsale municipal district, Fine Gael councillor John O’Sullivan, has been mandated by his fellow councillors to meet with the Piper family and Cork County Council officials to try to find a resolution to the current impasse.

The talks are aimed at finding a solution to keep the traditional funfair in Kinsale and to allow the Piper family to park their showman’s wagon on Kinsale’s Short Quay.

A large crowd attended a public rally in Kinsale last Sunday afternoon demanding that the council reverses its decision to instruct the Piper family to remove their showman’s wagon from its traditional parking spot.

They also want to see the return of Piper’s funfair to Kinsale Town Park without increased rents.

At a municipal district meeting this week, Independent councillor Alan Coleman proposed asking Mr O’Sullivan to hold talks with the family and council officials.

Senior executive officer MacDara O’Hici said the council had been corresponding with the family through their solicitor.

“I think that is the best line of communication. That is what we are recommending carrying on with,” Mr O’Hici said.

However, Mr Coleman disagreed with this recommendation.

“It is an issue we need to get involved in. It is a big issue for many people in Kinsale town. While it might be OK for officials to say leave it to the legal people, politically we should mandate the chairman to progress with talks with both sides and see if we can get a solution,” he said.

This suggestion received support from all the councillors.

The Mayor of the County of Cork Fianna Fáil councillor Gillian Coughlan said a meeting should be held.

“I support that the chair would interact, if that is possible, with officials and with the family. A meeting should be held and see where we go from there.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Seán O’Donovan said he would ask Mr O’Sullivan to hold a meeting with the family and the council executive and to report back with an update to the councillors.

“This needs to move,” Mr O’Donovan said. “With legal people on both sides, it will be a slow process. People are very anxious to get this sorted.”

Fine Gael councillors Kevin Murphy and Marie O’Sullivan voiced their support for the proposed meeting but were critical of some personal attacks on social media surrounding the issue.

Mr Murphy said: “Members have got to be informed. Up to now they have not been informed. Facebook has been absolutely appalling. It is out of control.”

Ms O’Sullivan echoed these sentiments: “There have been very vindictive attacks over the past couple of weeks. There is a lot of misinformation out there. We are there to support the people. I feel really aggrieved by the attacks on social media on some of the members. We are not against anybody.”

Mr Coleman said the issue would not be resolved on social media.

“Some of the stuff on social media was reprehensible. If we let the chairman move on with this, we can make some progress.”

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