New figures show nine buskers were fined a total of €600 last year

A Dublin councillor has hailed new bye-laws governing busking in the city as a success.

Figures from Dublin City Council show nine street performers were fined a total of €600 last year.

The laws require street performers to apply for permits with restrictions on noise and repetitiveness.

Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey said the relatively low number of fines suggests the new rules are working.

File photo of barefoot Sonny Casey from Carraroe in Connemara, County Galway, busking on Grafton Street, 05-10-2017. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

He said he wants “the city to be alive with the sound of music” but insisted the fines were necessary as a quality control measure.

“There was an element of single song merchants,” he said. “Of people who were standing in the same spot all the time with at most two songs.”

“There were levels of noise that were unacceptable if you were working in the area or indeed living in the area.

“The guidelines and the bye-laws were an effort to balance a whole lot of conflicting rights and it seems to me, looking at this report, that they are largely working.”

File photo of buskers performing on Grafton Street, 29-07-2016. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Councillor Lacey denied the system was introduced as a money-making measure, noting that performers who work with the rules have nothing to worry about:

“If people comply with the rules; if people learn a few extra songs, if they keep the noise levels to an acceptable level; if they don’t block up shops – then busking is a great thing,” he said.

This year marked the first full year of the permit system and all the fines were paid without needing to go to court.