independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Traditional horse fair draws crowds

Well buttoned up for the Millstreet Horse Fair were Brendan and Clare O'Connell along with children Eilís Dylan, Kieran and Grainne from Macroom. Photo: John Tarrant

THE Millstreet Horse Fair maintained a long standing tradition with patrons convening from all walks of life from near and afar continuing a custom dating back many generations.

Again the economic slump of the past few years saw to it that equine numbers were again lower than normal yet a lively atmosphere was enhanced by favourable weather that brought big numbers into the town.

While enquiries failed to sustain transactions, there were some optimism for the future.

"The market had fallen as low it can fall Ä and there is only one way it can go, and that is up," said a seasoned observer from West Cork.

Still Millstreet fair continues to attract wide appeal. Those in their tender years came in support out of a sense of curiosity and their elders enliven a sense of nostalgia in a staging maintaining a magical appeal.

The fair once upon a time provided horses for the armies of Europe and closer to home, Guinness Brewery availed of equine stock to draw their popular stout all over the country.

And for the Millstreet March Fair in days of old, many farmers of the region found the ideal opportunity to seek farm labourers for the year ahead thus adding to the significance of the hosting.

And all the trappings of the modern day horse fair were again present with the streets a flow with stalls of every conceivable nature.

A throng of street traders dotted the Town Square and Main Street, vendors indicating a roaring trade from the latest CDs to a mobile phone. Add in poultry to a pup ensured the ever diversity of the staging.

The passage of time has failed to knock the staging of horse fair day in Millstreet and the indications are the Fair will continue for some time.

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