Wednesday 29 March 2017

A taste of days gone by as horse fair comes to town

Barry Duggan

It was a comforting throw-back to the Ireland of old.

Foals, mares, the odd piebald pony, ducks, turf, vegetables, clothes and Guinness were bought and sold as if we were entering the last days of the euro.

The Ennistymon horse fair took place at the weekend, with hundreds of traders descending on the Clare market town, wheeling and dealing on every street corner and inside most pubs.

Local resident Denis Vaughan from the 'Save Ennistymon's Heritage Group' said the horse fair reminded him of days growing up as a child.

"One thing that struck me and what was very much seen in days gone by was the council employees and other workers out with the hosepipes in the evening trying to clear the muck and everything else off the streets. There was a fair bit of work to be done there," Mr Vaughan said.

"It is a great event and shows the trade is there. It shows that old Ennistymon is coming back to life and is something that should be cherished and treasured," Mr Vaughan added.

Traditionally, the Ennistymon horse fair was held every April and November. Attempts have been made in recent years to inject a new lease of life into the event.

Local Fine Gael councillor Martin Conway said: "Like ones in Maam Cross or Spancil Hill, the Ennistymon horse fair would have been well- known previously. They are a unique aspect and trait of Irish life and should not be forgotten about.

"Hopefully this shows that there is a demand for an event like this. In the present climate, anything that brings a bit of trade, commerce and a crowd to a town has to be welcomed."

Irish Independent

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