Spokesperson says Puck Fair goat will be given a fan to cool down as heatwave continues

By Fiona Frawley

August 10, 2022 at 12:16pm


The festival, which has been running for at least 400 years in the Kerry town of Killorglin has a long-standing tradition of keeping a wild goat in a cage above the town for three days and three nights.

A spokesperson for the fair has said the wild goat at this year's Puck Fair may be given a fan to cool down, as weather warnings remain in place for the entire country until this Sunday with heatwave-like conditions forecast.

Met Éireann have advised that "Ireland will experience a hot spell developing from Wednesday and continuing through the rest of the week and the weekend". This has added to the already existing concern for the welfare of the animal.

Concerns were first raised about the welfare of the Puck goat in 2015, when an animal rights organisation said that the animal's capture and confinement was wrong under the provisions of the 2013 Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Speaking on RTÉ's Liveline yesterday, spokesperson for the fair Declan Falvey said the goat is well cared for and that there is "no distress to the animal".The Puck is looked after by a team of goat catchers, monitored by a local vet and given a full health check before his coronation, during which he is elevated above the town, RTÉ reports.

Mr Falvey said the goat's "water is changed on a regular basis", and that a local farmer "sources the best of heather" for him to eat. Other callers expressed worries that the goat would not be able to cope with the heat, would pant a lot and therefore be unable to drink. Mr Falvey said "this is a wild mountain goat, used to living on heights", and that his shaggy coat would protect him. He added that if the goat needed to be brought down, it would be.

The festival, which takes place each year from the 10th - 12th August kicks off today.

Header image via Shutterstock

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