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Public vote over Smithfield horse fair

COUNCILLORS in Dublin have voted to put draft by-laws to control the Smithfield horse fair out to public consultation despite concerns about their "draconian" nature.

The purpose of the by-laws, according to the council, is to ensure the orderly running and management of the fair, while taking into account the welfare of those attending and the animals.

The by-laws are also seeking to introduce a requirement for traders to have public liability insurance of an estimated €6.4m.

The number of horse fairs would also be reduced from every Sunday to twice a year, while traders would also be expected to carry a licence while attending the fair.


Council officials said if the by-laws are implemented, those who do not adhere to the rules will face a fine of up to €1,900.

However, some have argued that the by-laws are "draconian in every sense".

Cllr Bill Tormey (FG) described the proposals as "over the top" and argued that the proposed by-laws need to be "seriously amended".

Cllr Mannix Flynn argued that the council's report is yet to be seen by the casual trading committee and that he would need a "casual trading licence to bring a bag of grapes to Moore Street" because "that's how ridiculous some of this is".

Other councillors said the Smithfield Horse Fair needs to be preserved to support tradition in the area.

Councillors agreed to extend the consultation process for a further two months before amendments are made.