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10th Jul 2020

Organisers confirm cancellation of Ireland’s oldest horse fair

Sarah Finnan

horse fair

An annual event in Co Galway, the Ballinasloe Horse Fair is Europe’s oldest and largest horse fair – dating all the way back to the 18th century. However, organisers have made the decision to cancel this year’s celebration due to concerns over Covid-19.

Organisers of the Balinsaloe Fair & Festival have confirmed that this year’s festivities will not go ahead. Forced to cancel over ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, authorities have already set their sights on next year and preparing for the 300th anniversary of the event in 2022.

Traditionally held in October, it’s reported that the week-long festival attracts an estimated 80,000 visitors each year. Confirming that the 2020 festival will not go ahead, Galway County Council shared a statement that reads:

“It is with regret that the Ballinasloe Fair and Festival Co-ordinating Committee has cancelled the fair for 2020. The decision was reached due to the continuing impact and uncertainty surrounding COVID019.

The Committee made the decision in the interests of Public Health & Safety and has agreed to meet in December 2020 to prepare for the return of the Ballinasloe Fair and Festival in 2021 and make advanced plans to celebrate the 300th anniversary in 2022.

The Co-ordinating Committee would like to thank the local community, sponsors, and all associations involved for their ongoing commitment and support. We look forward to welcoming all participants and visitors to Ballinasloe Fair and Festival in 2021.”

Header image via Facebook/Ballinsloe Fair

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