Horse Fair at Spancilhill


Spancilhill Horse Fair
Spancilhill Horse Fair

Spancilhill is a small village in East County Clare, about 5 km east of Ennis, on the road (R352) to Tulla.

Most Irish people willl be familiar with the ballad ‘Spancilhill’ which starts:
Last night as I lay dreaming of pleasant days gone by
My mind been bent on rambling to Irelands isle I did fly
I stepped on board a vision and I followed with a will
Till at last I came to anchor at the Cross of Spancilhill.

This was written by Michael Considine around the 1870s and was popularised by Christy Moore and numerous ballad groups in the 1970s. It has become one of the most popular pub songs of all time.

But Spancilhill is famous for its horse fair which is held on or near the 23rd of June each year. Horse traders come from far and near on that day with horses and ponies and there are competitions for best in many classes. This event has been going on annually for centuries, The first charter having been granted by Charles I. In the past, it attracted international buyers and many horses were sourced by the military there for the British Army.

Nowadays as well as the serious business of horse dealing there are various sideshows and fun events for all the family.


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