Galway City’s new busking bylaws ‘on hold’ for now

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BUSKING BYE LAW GALWAY CITY

Galway’s controversial new busking bylaws will not be enforced until they are finalised, Galway City’s Joint Policing Committee heard on Monday.

Superintendent Marie Skehill of An Garda Síochana told the Committee that the bylaws had not been signed off yet.

“It’s on hold at the moment,” she stated, adding that there are still one or two issues with the wording that have not been resolved.

She did not say when the legislation was expected to be signed off.

The bylaws were narrowly passed by the City Council in May this year after complaints about crowds and noise from businesses in the city centre.

They impose strict limitations on buskers in the Shop Street area, banning all amplification, drums, and circle acts until 6pm.

But many Galwegians disagree with the bylaws, as busking is viewed as a draw for tourists.

The buskers themselves have said they will fight the new legislation in court and have set up a busking code with community guidelines to self-regulate and handle complaints.

City Councillor Pádraig Conneely said at Monday’s JPC meeting that buskers “bring art and culture to our streets” before asking the Superintendent about the status of the bylaws.

Superintendent Skehill noted that once the legislation is finalised, gardaí will need to discuss resource allocation, as enforcement may require signage and personnel.

She added that she had “no idea” where the rumour that the bylaws would take effect from 1 September came from.

Councillor Terry O’Flaherty commented that the bylaws were brought in to provide businesses with a legal course of action against disruptive behaviour and were not meant to be enforced daily.