Dublin Fine Gael Councillor Noel Rock today blasted Dublin City Council’s “absurd proposal” to place a limit on busking throughout the City Centre, with time limits, distance limits and permits, highlighting that it would “create an absolutely unworkable bureaucratic burden where you’d have City Council workers roaming the streets with trundle wheels, noise detectors and stopwatches on a daily basis. The proposal would be laughable if it wasn’t so completely ill-conceived and didn’t have such serious fines – up to €1900 – attached”.

Ahead of this evening’s Dublin City Council meeting, Cllr. Rock called for the Sinn Fein councillors to vote against this motion and send it back to the drawing board: “It’s just common sense to review this. Dublin City is known for its vibrancy, its youth and its artistic scene, and the last thing that we want to be doing is allowing officialdom to infringe on the rights of our performing artists with an endless stream of bureaucracy.

Cllr. Rock continued: “We have some great talent on Dublin’s streets, and I don’t want to see that end. By way of example, Keywest are a band who play our streets regularly and have over 2 million Youtube views. It’s clear there is an appetite for that. And then, what about the annual Christmas tradition of Glen Hansard, Bono and others gathering to busk for charity in Dublin? Are the Council going to chase them up and down the street every two hours? We need to get real”.

Cllr. Rock added: “This is bureaucracy gone mad. Under these by-laws, buskers will be banned from Temple Bar, will have to get permits for amplifiers and will be limited to two hours per appearance at a given spot where they will then have to move at least 50 metres away from where they were. This time limit aspect alone will be completely unworkable and the fines are unbelievably onerous – with fines of up to €1900 applicable. I believe that Dublin City Council needs to send this back to the Arts SPC for further scrutiny, as this law is one that will be entirely ignored if it comes into effect”.