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King Puck reprieved in heat of the moment, but they really shouldn’t be using a live goat

Martina Devlin


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The King Puck goat that was suspended in a cage above Killorglin, Co Kerry, for Puck Fair

The King Puck goat that was suspended in a cage above Killorglin, Co Kerry, for Puck Fair

The King Puck goat that was suspended in a cage above Killorglin, Co Kerry, for Puck Fair

Excuse me while I check the calendar. Yes, just as I thought – it’s 2022. For a while there I imagined we’d looped back a few centuries to a time when animals were fair game to be treated any which way the human race judged fit.

It’s a natural mistake to make during Puck Fair season, when an annual spectacle that’s bizarre and grotesque enough to feature in a Father Ted episode is played out. A captured mountain he-goat is crowned King Puck, paraded through Killorglin’s streets and hoisted 15 metres above the town square, where he remains stuck on a platform for three days and two nights. All in the name of that much-abused term, tradition.


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