The Irish Showmen’s Guild urge the public to stay at home and help your local funfair and favourite circus.
Staying at home will not only help flatten the curve but help save their industry and the unique people who entertain thousands of people throughout Ireland every year.
A lot of funfairs and circuses are on the brink of never being able to open again - with some still incurring huge costs - and they don’t qualify for special aid or assistance.
Show People may have a seasonal income but they need to work throughout the year to create the fantastic events and performances we all enjoy.
The early planning for this season is now wasted with the St. Patrick's Day celebrations not happening, Funderland had to cancel their 25th Easter event in Cork and all other events for the summer and beyond on hold.
For generations Show People have supported Irish communities, even bringing electricity and theatre to rural counties, helping to create wonderful memories for many children in Ireland.
Members of the Guild continue to support and assist the brave frontline staff and all workers that provide essential services during this difficult time.
Having dedicated their lives to their craft, funfairs or circuses are unable to open for what would should have been the peak of their season. They have survived wars, famines and recessions but COVID-19 has proved the biggest crisis for people in the industry who fear the total extinction of their way of life.
They are asking everyone to continue the great effort to date; stay at home, save lives and save Irish Industries.
The European Showmans Guild work to support the industry and culture across Europe while the Irish Showmans Guild repreents over ninty funfairs and circuses in Ireland.
The crew of Tom Duffy’s Circus are isolating back at their winter quarters. All their performers are continuing to train and practise each day, while maintaining social distancing, so that they will ready to entertain people again as soon as they crisis is over.
“We offer our sincerest sympathies to each and every family who have lost a loved one, family member or friend to this terrible virus. This is a critical time for our country and the people who call it home".
"Stay home, self-isolate if you need to and take care of your family. If everyone does this our country will get back to normal as quickly as possible. As a Circus, community and family, we will be back along with all the other Circuses and Funfairs in the country, just as soon as it’s deemed safe for us to entertain you again.”
Curry’s Funpark in Galway’s gates may be locked to the public after building up the funfair in preparation for the beginning of the season but they have created ‘The Heart Of Hope’ shining for miles from 120 feet on the Giant Wheel.
Mr Owen Curry began creating this beacon to show frontline staff and healthcare workers gratitude. “The heart represents every Irish Showman" he says. "It also represents Salthill’s commitment to safety for the locals and visitors who use the famous Salthill promenade every day for exercise and fun".
"But I think people in the wider community will also take it to their own hearts, not just here in Galway but right across Ireland. We want to encourage people to use the #Heartofhope to remind people to stay safe, stay home and support local health and frontline workers.”
The Irish Showman's Guild are pleading with the government and insurance companies to show some flexibility during this period. They are also reminding everyone that if we don’t abide by the lockdown regulations and this continues for longer, then the risk is the entire extinction of their culture and way of life for all.
But, hopefully it ends soon, and when it does, all their members are looking forward to bringing much needed entertainment and celebration to the four corners of Ireland.