PROTESTERS took to the streets of Kinsale on Sunday in support of Piper’s Funfair, the future of which has been cast in doubt due to the introduction of a €60,000 bond.
Cork County Council is seeking the bond from the organisers to hold the funfair in a town park.
Placards reading ‘ban the bond, bring Piper’s back’ were held aloft by supporters of Brendan Piper and his family, who have run the fair every summer since 1932.
Chris Piper, vice-president of the Irish Showman’s Guild, and vice-president of the European Showman’s Union, said he “couldn’t put it into words.”
“I do appreciate that there are situations where there are small bonds where showmen have to go into a place, but this is absolutely doolally,” he said. “It saddens me, it breaks my heart to see something like this going on.”
Mr Piper called for support for the showmen who are there to bring entertainment, and to “make the children smile”.
“So please, council, listen to what the people are saying, and give up this nonsensical request for €60,000,” he said.
Supporters in Kinsale on Sunday heard that generations of families from Kinsale and beyond have enjoyed the funfair, and it now forms part of the town’s rich cultural heritage.
A model of a Piper’s show-wagon was also shown to the crowd. Cork TD Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said the original should have pride of place in Kinsale once again.
“A year later and we are back on the streets campaigning again,” the Cork TD stated. “It’s time to bin the bond.”
Mr O’Sullivan said that organisers are “only looking for fairness”, adding there is a disconnect between the Council and the people on the ground on this issue.
“Cork County Council needs to listen, and communication needs to be brought back. The town park was gifted to the people of Kinsale to use as their amenity.”
Independent TD Michael Collins said the people of Kinsale had made a “clear decision” on the funfair, but that decision seemingly has not been relayed back to Cork County Council.
The Echo contacted Cork County Council for comment.