A FINE day greeted the large crowd who had turned out in Annascaul on Sunday for Ballinclare Fair.
The fair, one of the oldest in Munster whose roots can be traced back to the nineteenth century, was revived four years ago by local women Breda Curran and Michelle O'Donnell. Now held twice a year, last Sunday's fair saw the turn of the sheep following the hosting of a successful horse fair last May.
Despite all the gloomy predictions of wind and rain, a fresh and dry day greeted traders which saw horses, ponies, sheep and even ducks line the sidewalks of Annascaul.
With a good standard evident, several prizes were awarded. The Ram Lamb category saw first place awarded to Gerald Kennedy with second and third allocated to James O'Donnell and John Prendeville respectively. In the Aged Lamb section, Seán O'Donnell came out on top followed by TJ O'Donnell and Gene Cronin in second and third place. Tom Brosnan was deemed to have the Best Scotch Ewe Lamb on the day with Gene Cronin and John Prendeville taking second and third. Meanwhile the prize for Best Yearling Ram was awarded to Maurice Landers, with Gerald Kennedy and Sean O'Donnell taking second and third.
The prize for Best Cheviot Lamb, Best Texel Ram and Best Suffolk Ram went to Pat O'Donnell – completing an impressive trio of awards for his efforts.
Even though the October fair-day at Ballinclare is traditionally dedicated to sheep trading, there was also a good showing of horses and ponies with Annascaul's Eoin Knightly earning the accolade of having the Best Horse.
A number of auxiliary events also took place as families and friends congregated. Christine O'Donnell cut an impressive figure and was subsequently deemed to be the fair's Best Dressed Lady. The dapper John Courtney didn't leave the side down for the men as he was named Best Dressed Farmer at Ballinclare. Finally, in terms of local royalty, the King of Annascaul accolade was bestowed upon Michael Walsh with Geraldine O'Shea taking the crown of Queen of Annascaul.
"The weather held up, the crowds came out, we couldn't have asked for more," organiser Breda Curran told The Kerryman.