Today’s picture from our archives is reminiscent of the Wild West, perhaps appropriate because it shows Skibbereen, in West Cork, on the town’s annual fair day in 1937.
Fairs were agricultural events of great significance, serving as the market for livestock and bloodstock. Many of them were big events.
In 1833, writer Maria Edgeworth said it took hours to travel ten miles through tens of thousands coming from the Ballinasloe Fair in Galway, where up to 20,000 cattle and 100,000 sheep could be sold.
The Ballinasloe Fair and Festival is also one of Europe’s oldest and largest horse fairs.
The event still attracts up to 80,000 visitors. The 2019 fair starts Sunday, September 29, and continues to Sunday, October 6, including horse sales on the 29, 30 and 5.