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Sunday 23 July 2017

Weather gods finally bless King Puck as cattle dealers get to work

Brothers John and Denis Foran, from Currow, in Killarney, watch the cattle fair
at Puck Fair, Killorglin, yesterday
Brothers John and Denis Foran, from Currow, in Killarney, watch the cattle fair at Puck Fair, Killorglin, yesterday
Festival-goer Iain Barber

John O'Mahony

OVERNIGHT novenas were offered up for a rain-free day at Puck Fair, in Killorglin, Co Kerry, and, apart from some light early morning drizzle, which kept the dust down, the prayers were answered.

If the opening session of the three-day Kerry festival was a bit of a washout, the weather gods were far more generous yesterday, much to the relief of local businesses and visiting casual traders who complained the rain played spoilsport all through Wednesday.

"The weather ruined Wednesday but there is a great buzz around the place today," said relieved publican Breda Falvey, who was hoping for an even more dramatic improvement in sales on what is known locally as Scattering Day.

"The committee put so much work into organising the street entertainment it was a pity to see so many people dashing between the drops to get from pub to pub," she added.

With the bearded and wide-horned King Enda scrutinising developments from his lofty pedestal, the general consensus was that the attendance was well up on day one.

Much of the activity yesterday was based on Langford Street, which was sealed off to accommodate a traditional cattle fair, with astute dealers in peaked capped and heavy sweaters working hard to seal the deal.

Donal and Maura Quinn, from Salthill, in Galway, took a break from a drive around the Ring of Kerry to share the Puck experience and Donal was amazed King Puck wasn't frightened by the crowds.

"He might look wild but he seems to be very tame. It's a great tradition and we don't have enough festivals like this that celebrate our past," he remarked.

Irish Independent

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