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Are Killarney’s buskers “lowering the tone”?

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In a recent article in the Irish Times, Killarney Advertiser columnist Anne Lucey highlighted the ongoing issue of Killarney’s street entertainers and the council’s plans to regulate buskers in the town.

Some councillors have complained that members of the public are being insulted and foul language is being used by certain performers, and concerns have also been raised about the quality of some of the music being played on our streets.

To my mind the councillors are only talking about a couple of people here, the main alleged culprit being Eric “Scotty” Gudmunsen, aka the Donald Trump guy. The Dundee native wears a Trump wig and sings parody songs about the US president, such as ‘Please Impeach Me’ (to the tune of Engelbert Humperdinck’s ‘Please Release Me’) and a version of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Boxer’ that goes:

“I flip and flop,

When my lips move it means I’m lying and I just can’t seem to stop,

Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie…”

There’s one or two swear words and a bit of innuendo in his lyrics but not a whole pile; nothing you wouldn’t hear on national daytime radio in this day and age.

Certain councillors, however, say he’s “lowering the tone” by insulting passers-by. I think he’s gas enough to be honest. I was walking past him on Main Street the other day with a couple of friends, one of whom was wearing shorts. “Oh, you’ve put me off chicken for life,” Gudmunsen said. There was a big crowd there and it got a laugh. My friend got all embarrassed. It was great.

All jokes aside, it is a public space so people should have the option of not being insulted if they don’t want to be. It might be fair enough if you pay to go to a show but not everyone is going to appreciate having the piss taken out of them as they go about their daily business.

When it comes to quality, I don’t think you couldn’t really question Gudmunsen. His lyrics are sharp and witty and he regularly draws large audiences so he’s obviously doing something right. There are others who maybe aren’t as talented and busker auditions, which are commonplace in major cities, might be a good idea. You don’t want to be too harsh or rain on anyone’s parade but if tourists are being put off and locals are being irritated, you have to take that into account.

The one major complaint I would have about the street performers in Killarney is the repetitive nature of the material. The problem here isn’t the material itself per se; you can’t expect buskers to play different songs all the time and they’re naturally going to sing their best ones more often than not.

It’s just that Killarney is so small, it’s nearly impossible to not hear them every single time you go to town. That does get a bit annoying, and I’m only passing through. It must get very irritating for the people working in the town centre who have to listen to the same songs day in, day out.

According to the outgoing Mayor, the exact same issue was raised 12 months ago so it’s disappointing that this issue is being discussed now at the height of the tourist season. As far as I can tell, the council are talking about the same buskers who were here last year. If there really is a problem then it should have been sorted during the off-season.

In the meantime, Killarney’s Donald Trump is unlikely to get impeached any time soon and it seems as though we’ll be hearing his lie, lie, lies for the rest of the summer at least.

What do you think of the standard of busking in Killarney? Does something need to change? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@killarneyadvertiser.ie.

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The Michael Commins Country Shows are Killarney bound

The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and 30. For over a decade these shows have captivated audiences […]

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The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and 30.

For over a decade these shows have captivated audiences in Galway and Mayo and this marks the first time they have travelled outside the western province.

Well known promoter, Tom Kelly from Ballina, who was manager of Brendan Grace for 27 years, and who also promotes the concerts of Johnny McEvoy, Mike Denver, Isla Grant, Dan McCabe and others, noticed the market for these country shows in recent years.

“The response of audiences to the Michael Commins Shows in the Salthill and Clayton Hotels in Galway and also in Claremorris and Westport has been phenomenal and I realised right away that these shows would have huge appeal outside the province,” Tom Kelly said.

“Where better a place to start outside of Connacht than in the famous Gleneagle INEC, the heart of Irish tourism and a huge venue for Country Music down through the years. We are being inundated with requests for tickets for both shows with people travelling to Kerry from all 32 counties on the island of Ireland, with some making the journey from England and Scotland and America as well.”

Michael is a journalist, radio and TV presenter from Mayo who for four decades has been promoting traditional Country Music across the western province and around the country through his newspaper columns.

His songs have been recorded by numerous artists including his great and cherished friend, the late Big Tom, along with a host of Irish singers as well as Leona Williams (ex-wife of Merle Haggard) and John Rex Reeves, nephew of the legendary Jim Reeves.

His concert shows have been described by Waterford singer, Paddy O’Brien, as the “most unique, authentic, down-to-earth and homely” country shows on the island of Ireland. The Killarney nights look set to deliver in style on Paddy’s summation of these amazing shows.

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The show on Monday August 29, features Brendan Shine, Gerry Guthrie, Art Supple, Tony Kerr, Louise Morrissey, Lisa Stanley, PJ Murrihy, Matt Keane, Olivia Douglas, Aisling Rafferty, Ross Molloy, Paudie McAuliffe, Gavin Gribben, Noreen Ashe, and the Ryan Turner Band.

The Tuesday night sees another brilliant line-up featuring John Glenn, Declan Nerney, Sandy Kelly, Paddy O’Brien, Eddie Lee, Annmarie O’Riordan, Thomas McBride, Pat McKenna, Muriel O’Connor and Fran Curry, Mick Mulhern, Elle Marie O’Dwyer, Aoife Leonard, Matthew O’Donnell, Kevin Prendergast, Richard Mulligan, the Ryan Turner Band and Billy Condon.

Tickets are selling fast and are now available from the Gleneagle INEC box office (064 6671555), ticketmaster.ie, and from Patsy on 086 1551841.

And the Killarney Advertiser has two pairs of tickets for the Michael Commins Country Shows up for grabs.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets just answer the following question in the comments section by heading over to our Facebook page:

Name one of the female artists on the Michael Commins Concert Shows?

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Beaufort GAA launch car raffle fundraiser

By Sean Moriarty Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training pitch. The club took delivery of the new car this […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training pitch.

The club took delivery of the new car this week and the first tickets for the raffle were sold at Puck Fair.

Tickets are available from any member of Beaufort GAA at a cost of €25 each or three for €60.

The growing club needs new winter training facilities for its men’s, ladies and juvenile teams.

“We found that our current pitch was getting badly cut up in the winter and autumn and felt this new all-weather was the way to go,” club chairman, Neil Doherty, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We started selling this week at Puck and so far the response has been very good.”

Ticket will remain on sale until next year with a draw date set for around Easter time.

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