Tight rein on spending at Muff Horse Fair
IT was a slow day at the Muff Horse Fair. Horse traders have been wheeling and dealing at the fair over the centuries, after animals first started trading hands 406 years ago when King James II granted a licence to a local merchant.
Pat Lambe, from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, who has been attending the annual Muff Horse Fair for a mere 40 years, was a tad glum yesterday.
Despite inspecting the teeth of a horse or two to try and determine precisely the age of the animals on offer, he didn't get a bit of 'luck money' from a sale or make a single purchase.
And as Mr Lambe - and many others - found, few were willing to seal a deal at the side of the road and part with their hard -earned cash.
The veteran trader blamed "a shortage of money" for one of the quietest years he had ever seen at the fair.
Despite a slow horse trade, the fair lived up to its reputation of creating one of the best atmospheres around. There were hundreds of horses, ponies and donkeys on parade.
Nice weather kept the crowds moving through the field and the crossroads where the event took place.
Regarded by most as one of the oldest traditional fairs in Ireland, people travel from all over the country to set up stalls and barter with people they've met over the years.
The fair has never changed from its location in Muff, near Kingscourt, in Co Cavan.