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Tag Archives: Spancilhill Fair

Spancilhill recognised for contribution to cultural heritage

SPANCILHILL International Horse Fair is to be recognised at the highest level for its contribution to Ireland’s cultural heritage. Minister Catherine Martin announced that the renowned fair is to be among eight practices to be added to the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Theo other activities are Beekeeping, Clones Crochet Lace Making, Headford Lace Making, Irish Traditional Travelling Circus and Funfair, Lá an Dreoilín/Wren Day, Native Irish Cattle Breeding, and Traditional Seine Boat Building, Fishing and Racing. Speaking on behalf of the Spancilhill Fair Association, Michael Duggan said there is great local pride in the horse fair. “I am delighted that the Tradition of the Spancilhill International Horse Fair will be included as part of the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” he said. “I want to thank the Minister that she saw fit to include this tradition that is over 400 years old as part of the recognised cultural heritage of Ireland. We are very proud of the …

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Spancilhill Horse Fair off the cards for another year

CELEBRATIONS to mark the 400th anniversary of the Spancilhill Horse Fair will not go ahead this year, as organisers of the world-famous event have taken the decision to cancel the festival for 2021. The event is a much-loved focal point in the calendar for horse-traders and equestrian enthusiasts across this country and beyond, and it is very much tied to its date of June 23. “It is more or less set in stone and that’s meant we’re not really in a position to defer or postpone the fair,” explained Chairperson of the event committee Brian Clune. “The date is tied in with other big events in Clare like the Willie Clancy Summer School and then the likes of the Dublin Horse Show and the Ballinasloe Horse Fair. We took the decision to cancel over the weekend and while it’s disappointing to think that this is the second year without Spancilhill Fair, we really had no choice. Inter-county travel is still …

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Blow to East Clare as Feakle Festival is cancelled

THE festival calendar for East Clare has suffered another major blow with the cancellation of the Feakle Festival, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Organisers said they decided to cut this year’s event – which would ordinarily attract thousands to the region at the height of the summer season – “with deep regret,” in order to minimise the risk to the general public. Already, the legendary Spancilhill Fair has been called off, with organisers deciding that they could not guarantee social distancing at the event which draws thousands annually on the now immortalised date of June 23. A number of smaller community festivals, including the Bodyke May Bank Holiday Weekend, have also been shelved, with hopes of postponing some of them as the government’s road map for the re-opening of public life begins to unfold. In Feakle, a world-class programme of traditional music had been under wraps since February and there is widespread disappointment that the hugely popular festival won’t go ahead …

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Spancilhill Fair Called Off Over Covid Concerns

THE world famous Spancilhill Horse Fair has been cancelled for the second time ever in its 400-year history. Restrictions associated with Covid-19 have prompted organisers to make the decision, even before the revised government guidelines banning large gatherings until the end of August. They said they still maintain hope that the fair can run in 2021 to celebrate four centuries of horse-trading and equestrian competition since the event received its royal charter from King Charles in 1621. The fair, which had been due to take place on Tuesday, June 23, would simply not have been possible given the risk of Coronavirus transmissions said Chairperson Brian Clune. “It was inevitable and I suppose that given the risk to public health, it’s just one of those things,” he said. “The last time it was called off was in 2001 and that was because of the Foot and Mouth crisis.” Mr Clune said that because of the famous nature of the date of …

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A great fair at Spancilhill

AS usual, they came from far and near for the annual Fair of Spancilhill on Monday, and that was only the horses and ponies, as well as a number of donkeys for good measure. The glorious weather brought out a big number of dealers and buying and selling was brisk throughout the day.  The quality of the animals at the fair was described as being very good and this was reflected in the prices that were achieved. The fair also attracted quite a number of visitors, who were happy to observe  the time-honoured  traditions associated with showing the animals to prospective buyers and the bartering and hand slapping. Judging by the 2014 fair, the event famed in song by Robbie McMahon, has a strong future and will continue as an important part of the heritage of County Clare.

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