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Kinsale Residents Rally For Return Of Historic Funfair

Writes Tara Maher

On Sunday 16th of April, hundreds of Kinsale residents took to the streets to protest Cork County Council's decision to prevent Pipers Funfair from returning to the Town Park this summer. Despite promises from elected councillors last year, the Council introduced a new requirement for a bond of €60k, subsequently reducing it to €30k, which Chris Piper, Vice President of the Showman’s Guild, called "do-lally" during his speech to the crowd.

Picture. John Allen

Brendan Piper, representing the funfair, met with council engineers on Friday to appeal for a more affordable bond that was in line with national precedents for small funfairs. He argued that the funfair had not operated since before COVID and was not awash with money. He had identified a company to make remedial repairs to the tarmac when the funfair leaves in September, but he could not identify a company that would offer a bond for such activities.

Local Green Party Representative Marc Ó Riain, spoke to the crowd, pointing out that a typical bond for such an event was €800, not €60,000 nor €30,000. "The bond is unsustainable, and the council executive is throwing more barriers in front of the return of the funfair," he said. Minister Catherine Martin announced in 2021 that Irish Traditional Travelling Circus and Funfairs had been added to the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2021. He called on Cork County Council to reconsider its decision and support the funfair's return.

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