Tuesday 18 December 2018

Horns of a dilemma as King Puck goes uncrowned - almost

Eamonn O’Connor from Killorglin selling his donkeys at Puck Fair. Picture: MacMonagle
Eamonn O’Connor from Killorglin selling his donkeys at Puck Fair. Picture: MacMonagle

Sinead Kelleher

It was a close call but there was very nearly no King Puck crowned in Killorglin, Co Kerry, as the wild mountain goat was half way up to his throne when it was realised he had not been officially crowned.

However, all was put right, and he was lowered back down again to allow the Queen of Puck to undertake her rightful honour of crowning King Puck 2018.

Three cheers went up as he began his journey upward again to his perch overlooking Killorglin yesterday where he will remain until Sunday evening until he is released back into the Kerry Mountains.

The honour of crowning this year's goat went to 12-year-old Ella Foley who said it was a role "she always wanted to do".

Organisers expect to welcome more than 80,000 visitors over the three-day festival.

Puck kicked off yesterday at 6am as wheelers and dealers arrived for the traditional horse fair, which is one of the highlights of the annual festival.

There was mixed views on the quality available and even more on the deals being made.

Killarney councillor Donal Grady, a veteran of the fair, said this year's event was "quieter" than usual and the "quality of horses wasn't there". Yet despite this it was very much a case of the early bird catches the worm as the deals were done and dusted in the very early hours.

Meanwhile, on the streets of Killorglin tourists and locals soaked up the atmosphere of the festival, Many tourists were not familiar with the 400-year-old tradition of crowning a wild mountain goat.

Anne and Stephane Rainbault from France said: "We had never heard of it before. It is surprising."

Irish Independent

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