One of Ireland's oldest and longest celebrated festivals Puck Fair is underway in Killorglin, County Kerry.
Every year Killorglin in County Kerry holds Puck Fair, the oldest traditional fair in Ireland, and one of the oldest non-religious fairs in the world. According to local historian Patrick Houlihan (Pa Houlihan), research has failed to unearth the origin of Puck Fair. Official goat catcher Frank Joy believes Puck Fair must have had a meaning centuries ago that is lost in modern times.
Frank Joy and his band of goat catchers have captured a black goat on the slopes of Carrantuohill. They are confident this goat will make a fine King Puck. However not everyone is happy with the treatment the goat is being given by his captors.
The poor thing, all tied up like that, now that's a shame.
On seeing men wrangling a tethered goat one bystander walks away in protest proclaiming,
That’s actually disgusting.
Protests of this nature irritate the goat catchers. Frank Joy is sure the goat’s life in the mountains is more treacherous.
He comes to no harm, he’s treated very well for the three days that we keep him.
The caged goat is brought to the nearest pub to launch a week of celebration. The goat will be crowned King Puck by the Queen of the Puck Fair 1996 Áine Knightly. Festivities will then follow.
For three days the goat will act the king and the people will act the goat and we’ll have great fun in Killorglin.
Gathering Day, the first day of the three day festival sees the streets of Killorglin filled with musicians and street performers. The festival does not disappoint.
I think it’s as good as any I’ve ever seen.
Chairman of mid-Kerry tourism George Kelly believes Killorglin is the envy of the country as it hosts a festival with such enduring popularity. He hopes Puck Fair will continue to thrive into the 21st century.
A 'Nationwide’ report broadcast on 12 August 1996. The reporter is Jim Fahy.