Buskers at the Cliffs

Performing music for visitors at the Cliffs of Moher has been a longstanding tradition. The very first busker at the Cliffs of Moher was Denis (Dinny) McMahon. Dinny sold black thorn sticks and penny whistles to visitors as well as performing since the 1950’s. The tradition which he started continues today and with the development of the new centre and visitor management a number of the longstanding buskers proposed that a busking licence scheme would be establish to ensure that the musical performance was in keeping with the traditions and ethos of the Cliffs of Moher.

Michael Galvin playing at the Cliffs

Clare County Council examined schemes in place in the UK, Australia, USA & elsewhere and consulted with the existing buskers and other interested parties. A busking licence scheme was developed which has been in operation since 2007.

12 annual busking licences are available on an annual basis and these are held by buskers who meet the scheme criteria, many of whom have been performing at the Cliffs of Moher for many years. Once the buskers perform on a regular basis during the year their licence is renewed annually. Five busking pitches are designated and visitors can enjoy the performances of a number of buskers on any given day. As space become available on the busking licence scheme applicants are selected from the waiting list. In addition to the 12 annual licences students who are registered at recognised musical summer schools such as Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy can apply for a day licence to practice their skills onsite.

Those interested in the busking licence scheme can request information from info@cliffsofmoher.ie but it should be noted that a lengthy waiting list is in place.

Many of the buskers have released albums which are usually on sale from the official merchandise section inside the visitor centre as well as other music outlets.