A COMPROMISE on the ongoing saga of the Showman’s Wagon and Piper’s Funfair in Kinsale has finally been reached after weeks of discussion.
The iconic Showman’s Wagon, which had been in Kinsale since 1932, was removed recently by Brendan Piper from its Short Quay location after Council officials threatened to remove it.
Mr Piper was also told by Council officials that he would have to sign a three-year lease with them to hold his popular summer funfair residency in the town park. However, he was to face a doubling of rents each year under the terms of this new lease.
Councillors claimed the Piper family were being ‘hounded out’ of Kinsale, while a public protest held in Short Quay in May drew huge numbers and a public petition calling for the Showman’s Wagon to be re-instated at Short Quay garnered almost 3,000 signatures.
However, at this week’s meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District, chair Cllr John O’Sullivan – who acted as a facilitator between the Piper family and Council officials – said that parties have come to an agreed solution.
Cllr O’Sullivan said he had held discussions with both Brendan Piper and council officials to come up with a solution to the two issues.
‘The Showman’s Wagon won’t be returning to Short Quay due to health and safety reasons but there are plans to set aside a space in the town park for it,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan,
‘The Funfair will also return in 2023 and will go back to an annual renewal and there will be a reasonable increase in rent but this will not be sought if he can show that there is a financial difficulty.’
Brendan Piper said he is happy now that the Showman’s Wagon will remain in Kinsale, although not at its Short Quay location.
‘This was never about winning against Cork County Council and it was all to do with continuing the legacy and memories of both the funfair and the Showman’s Wagon.’
‘While I wait for the paperwork to come through it’s a positive result.
‘I want to thank everyone who supported me and I can now look forward to next summer.’
Meanwhile, local Green Party representative Marc Ó Riain described it as a ‘great win’ for the Piper family for all in Kinsale and thanked the whole community for standing up for their own local intangible culture.
‘It really shows you that when we stand together we can achieve something … together.’