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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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