The most talked about goat in the long history of King Pucks in Kerry is tonight recuperating in a host farm after “enjoying” the kind of medical and media attention normally reserved for rock stars.
As well as his own personal vet, the Department of Agriculture held a watching brief and hourly checks amid public concerns for the animal's welfare as the town basked in sweltering sunshine.
The department said its animal welfare helpline had received 175 “contacts” in relation to King Puck.
A spokesperson said the department welcomed the fact that an independent private vet in Kenmare and the organisers of the fair made the call to take the goat down each morning in advance of high temperatures, and to bring him down altogether at 10.30am on Friday morning.
The goat had been due to be taken down from his 50ft stand at 6pm on Friday, Scattering Day.
Fed on a diet of herbs and heather and with his water changed all day, the wild four-year-old goat will be thoroughly checked before being allowed back onto the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.
With hourly veterinary checks as temperatures hit 29 degrees in the Kerry town ,
one local woman quipped that if everyone could get that kind of attention in the A&E in University Hospital Kerry in Tralee “they’d be flying, heat or no heat”!
One 90-year-old man in Killorglin remembered a goat being taken down in the past because of torrential rain.
The heat of the debate that “brought down" the reputation of the festival this year caused a lot of hurt, according to local TD Danny Healy-Rae.
It also left a lot of anger, said Mr Healy-Rae, who proclaimed himself a huge fan of the goat festival.
He welcomed the way the Puck was put back up on Thursday night in the full moon - “and the goat was fine”.
The goat would be put back to the mountain “in better shape” than he came down, he said told Radio Kerry.
The independent TD claimed the media was only listening to “the same bunch of environmentalists with the same tune the whole time.”
nothing better to do only interfere and interrupt, he said of the critics.
“I want to thank the committee in a very special way. They had to resurrect the festival after a gap of two years and they deserve great credit," he said.
“People are very hurt and angry. It’s not fair the level of attention given by the national media. A lot of these environmentalists are on about Puck Fair to give themselves a platform.
"They don’t have a monopoly on animal rights - we were all brought up to love animals,” Mr Healy-Rae said.