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Insurance cover secured for Spancilhill Fair

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SPANCILHILL Fair has secured an eleventh hour reprieve with confirmation that insurance cover has been secured for the world-famous event. 

For the last two years, thousands of dedicated traders were deprived of one of the most important horse fairs in the calendar, due to the pandemic. Hope were high that the internationally renowned and centuries-old fair would return this year, offering the opportunity to mark the 400th anniversary of the event, which fell in 2021. Insurance concerns threw a spanner in the works and the difficulty in securing cover the event was flagged in the Dáil by Deputy Michael McNamara. 

At this afternoon’s (April 11) meeting of Clare County Council, it was announced that cover has now been secured.

The Council’s CEO, Pat Dowling, confirmed – to a round of applause from the chamber – that the event will go ahead in June.

The news followed a cross-party motion tabled by Councillors Clare Colleran Molloy, PJ Kelly, Pat Hayes, Pat Burke and Joe Cooney, calling on the authority to take all necessary steps to address the issue. 

Councillor Colleran Molloy asked that the situation be looked at, after receiving representations from members of the Fair’s organising committee. “It’s a very, very important part of our heritage,” she said.

Councillor Kelly noted that the name and reputation of the Fair had put Clare on the map worldwide, while Councillors Hayes, Burke and Cooney agreed that it would be a huge blow to rural Ireland if it were to be lost.

Councillor Alan O’Callaghan added that in light of the status of the Fair on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, sponsored by UNESCO, it was crucial to maintain the tradition.

Councillor Joe Killeen noted that the Fair is quite unique, while Councillor Pat Daly commended the dedicated organising committee.

Support also came from Councillor Gerry Flynn, John Crowe and Cathaoirleach PJ Ryan.

Councillor Colleran Molloy thanked Mr Dowling for his “positive and can-do” approach to the issue, and welcomed his work to secure insurance cover.

Mr Dowling said that good relationships with insurers need to be cultivated. “We need them for a range of outdoor events,” he said. “For the last couple of years, there has been a reduction in pay outs and the fact that more players are likely to come into the market gives hope for the future.”

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