This is the day that the main Cork – Limerick road gets closed in order to allow the horse fair at Buttevant to take place. It didn’t always take place in Buttevant high street, moving from Cahirmee (about two miles up the road) in 1921. Allegedly, this used to be the biggest horse fair in the British Isles and the horse that Wellington rode into Waterloo reputedly came from the fair, as did a horse ridden by Napoleon. The closing of the road may inconvenience some, but for me it is well worth it in order to keep such traditions alive.
One trader I spoke to with a fine chestnut horse lamented that there were very few horse fairs still going these days, so he had travelled all the way down from Carlingford to North County Cork for the event. Carlingford is but a stone’s throw from Northern Ireland, with Carlingford Lough separating the two.