Amended by-laws agreed to regulate Dublin's Horse Fair

Thursday 13 December 2012 21.01
The by-laws will become law if passed by a full council meeting in January
The by-laws will become law if passed by a full council meeting in January

Amended by-laws to regulate Dublin's Horse Fair at Smithfield have been agreed between local councillors and traders' representatives.

The proposed regulations remove a requirement for traders to have public liability insurance of over €6m and would allow horses to be brought for "show" as well as for sale.

However the requirement for horse owners to hold a casual trading licence will remain, as will the limiting of the number of fairs to just two a year, in March and September.

The by-laws will become law if passed by a full council meeting in January.

Colm Kiernan of the Smithfield Horse Owners' Association said the draft by-laws will be recommended to members at a meeting next Tuesday.

He welcomed the removal of the public liability requirement that had been contained in the original proposals.

Chairman of the council's Casual Trading Committee Cllr Gerry Breen said the agreement is a "historic breakthrough".

"This will turn what has been a problem for the city into a resource for the city", he said.

The centuries-old fair, which is a popular tourist attraction, had been held on the first Sunday of every month but had been marred by violence, anti-social activity and concerns about animal welfare.

The new laws introduce a range of offences, including lack of control or care for the horses and provide for fines of up to €1,900.