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Piper’s have half of bond but Council staying silent

May 16th, 2023 5:50 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Piper’s have half of bond but Council staying silent Image
Libby Marah, a fourth generation Piper, with a model of the famous showman’s wagon, during the protest last month. (Photo: John Allen)

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THE owner of Piper’s Funfair, who should be setting up his traditional funfair in the Pier Road car park this week for the summer season, said he doesn’t think he will get to operate it this year.

Cork County Council is seeking a bond of €30,000 from Brendan Piper before he can set up his funfair in the newly resurfaced car park. 

However, Brendan said it is impossible for him to secure a bond of that amount and that no such product is even available. 

He has, however, managed to raise €15,000 through donations which he is willing to deposit to a Cork County Council bank account. He sent that proposal to Cork County Council on April 25th, but has yet to receive a response.

Speaking to The Southern Star, Brendan said it’s upsetting and frustrating and it breaks his heart that the funfair, which has been in Kinsale since 1939, will not be operating this summer. He also said he can’t take out insurance until he knows that he is going back into the car park.

‘The maximum amount we can achieve is €15,000 and we are willing to deposit this sum to a County Council bank account as a security against any potential damages to the surface of the town car park,’ said Brendan.

‘We also request that a visual inspection be carried out between representatives of Piper’s and the town engineer to identify the current conditions and any existing dilapidations in advance of building up the funfair.’

Brendan proposed that when the funfair is removed in September, Jason McSweeney of Snow Transport & Tarmacadan Ltd will carry out any remedial works to the surface of the car park.

‘A inspection with our representatives and the town engineers would then be carried out to satisfy the Council that the park is being handed back in the same condition as it was handed over, and the bond would be returned within two weeks.

‘All I’m trying to do is keep the tradition alive and this week is the hardest, as we should be setting up there now. Why are we being treated like this? It’s not like we pack up and go somewhere else after. We don’t, this is our only place.’

At a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District councillors spoke about the abuse they were receiving on the issue, while senior executive officer Mac Dara O h-Icí said it was a straightforward agreement between the Council and the funfair and a reduced figure of €30,000 `was based on a conversation between them.’ 

He said the figure is calculated on the cost of re-surfacing the car park and the granting of a licence is an executive function of the Council, and not the elected members.

There was no respone to a request for comment from Cork County Council, at the time of going to press.

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