Ed Sheeran got his start on the streets of Galway as a 12-year-old musical prodigy but the city’s history of nurturing a generation of buskers could be over if it follows in the footsteps of the capital.
Hot on the heels of Dublin City Council’s new bylaws banning buskers from performances that reach over 80 decibels and introducing a permit system, Galway City Council has announced that it is considering introducing a new street performance policy.
In calling for submissions, the council’s environment section pointed out that complaints around street performing had increased significantly to the local authority, the Gardaí and business organisations.
“The complaints mainly relate to loud, continuous and repetitive noise, obstruction of premises and thoroughfare, busking taking place late at night disturbing city residents and intimidation by some performers soliciting donations,” stated an official in the local authority.
“With this in mind, Galway City Council are reviewing the whole area of street performance and busking in the city and considering the possible introduction of a policy and/or bylaws to regulate and encourage street performance in a manner consistent with the overall public interest.”
Existing bylaws governing buskers were introduced in 2011 which restricted any street performance after 11pm in winter and midnight in summer.
These regulations do not address issues such as noise nuisance as a result of amplification or drum kits or performers upping the ante while trying to compete with each other, the environment official pointed out.
It also does nothing to deter complaints relating to the repetitive nature of music repertoire, the blocking of business premises and public streets or the monopolisation by some buskers of performance ‘pitches’.
In the lead-up to the vote by Dublin City Council, regular Galway buskers Key West launched an online campaign to fight a total ban on amplification, which was one of the proposals under consideration.
They claimed the decibel limit of 80 decibels would be unworkable as that is the existing ambient level of noise in city centre streets.
“Ed Sheeran wouldn’t exist if this had been in. He created his sound by playing on the streets. We wouldn’t have survived and got over the hump of not getting gigs if we hadn’t started busking in Galway. This is literally a crime against music,” Key West lead singer Andy Kavanagh told the Galway City Tribune.
He pointed out that other cities where they had busked had introduced a limit of 95 decibels which worked well. He also agreed with moving buskers around.
“Look if you’re in a jewellery shop and there’s a guy outside practicing bagpipes for six hours, it’s some sort of cruel and unusual torture. I’m all for controls but having no amps means you get left with the dredges of performers – not the good ones.”
The band managed to gather 13,000 signatures opposing the bye-laws, which were forwarded to Dublin councillors before the vote last Monday.
While they succeeded in getting the total ban defeated, councillors did pass regulations limiting buskers to below 80 decibels with a special limit of 75 in Temple Bar. All music will have to finish by 11pm.
The laws will require buskers to pay €30 for a permit with an additional €90 to use an amplifier and they will only be allowed to play for two hours in the same spot.
The laws also prohibit buskers from performing within three metres of any private residence. Street performers using knives or flames will have to have public liability insurance of €6.4 million. Fines of up to €1,500 can be imposed for breach of the regulations.
Submissions on Galway’s buskers will be accepted until February 27 by writing or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Supply chain challenges in retail
SPONSORED CONTENT – EZ LIVING FURNITURE
There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.
Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.
Supply Chain explained
Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.
When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.
Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.
Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.
This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.
Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.
Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.
The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.
What are we doing to resolve this?
Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.
Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.
What you need to know
Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.
Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.
So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.
Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.
For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:
Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm
Phone: 0818 222 272
Customer Service Email: email@example.com
Website Enquiries Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPONSORED CONTENT – EZ LIVING FURNITURE
A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day
Inside Track with John McIntyre
BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.
Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.
With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.
Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Greens see red on gold rush
Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.
Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.
They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.
The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.
And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.
However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.