Monday 19 August 2019

Hail to king: Puck set free on mountain after reign at fair

Royalty: Queen of Puck Fair Maeve McCarthy (12) crowns King Puck on Gathering Day.
Photo: Dan MacMonagle
Royalty: Queen of Puck Fair Maeve McCarthy (12) crowns King Puck on Gathering Day. Photo: Dan MacMonagle

Anne Lucey

Large crowds gathered to see his Highness King Puck, a wild mountain goat hoisted high over the town of Killorglin, Co Kerry, to reign for three days and three nights.

Doubtless mindful of the animal rights protests of recent years, master of ceremonies and veteran president of the fair Declan Mangan assured the audience the wild black goat was not at all stressed.

Announcing the King's arrival, he declared: "His majesty, a wild mountain goat, a beautiful black goat. Rí na gCnoc."

Mr Mangan said: "While he's here, he's examined daily by our local vet. He is fed daily by our goat catchers and we are assured by the vet he isn't suffering any stress."

The parade was led by the Killorglin pipe band and included the Irwin School of Dancing, the Gleneagle Brass Band, floats of goat sculpture, and her majesty Queen of Puck, 12-year-old Maeve McCarthy from Cromane, and her lady-in- waiting Sian Corkery.

Magic

Maeve and Sian are from Cromane, near Killorglin, and are sixth-class pupils at the Realt na Mara School.

King Puck will return to his mountain home following a ceremony last night involving magic words of well wishes from Queen Maeve. Those showing up to wave King Puck goodbye for another year were treated to a live performance by The Papa Zitas, followed by a spectacular fireworks display at midnight.

Declan Falvey, chairman of the voluntary committee, said: "The weather might not be on our side this year but I'm glad to say that hasn't dampened the spirit of Puck Fair."

Irish Independent

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