With the annual Puck Fair celebrations just around the corner, the festival’s Royal Highness, Queen Puck, has been crowned.
The three-day event, which runs annually on August 10, 11 and 12, is Ireland’s oldest gathering festival and revolves around the crowning of a wild mountain goat as King Puck and overseer of the town.
One little lady who is especially excited for this year’s celebrations is 12-year-old Maeve McCarthy, who has been crowned as Queen of Puck Fair.
Maeve, a student of Scoil Réalt na Mara in Cromane in Killorglin, was given the crown after being selected by the judges who listened to hopefuls read aloud the famous Puck Fair welcome speech normally recited during the coronation ceremony on the festival’s opening day.
Lucky Maeve will now take her rightful place among a long list of former Puck Queens, and her duties will include meeting and greeting visitors to the festival, addressing the crowd in the town’s main square on day-one of the fair, and of course, the all-important crowning of King Puck during the coronation ceremony.
Although a lot of responsibility will fall on her royal shoulders, it seems that Maeve is most certainly up to the task, going by her entry letter.
In it, she said she plays the tin whistle, violin and is learning the banjo. She calls herself a “confident speaker” who “loves meeting new people”, and says she “loves everything about Puck, from the Horse Fair on the first day to the fireworks on the last".
Puck Fair, which has ancient traditions dating back to 1613, will this year have another wide range of free family fun activities, children’s entertainment and musical acts on the agenda.