Smithfield Horse Fair To Close? 2008

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With the area redeveloped and the Luas line running nearby what is the future for the Smithfield Horse Fair?

Dublin City Council has failed in its attempts to close down the Smithfield Horse Fair in the centre of Dublin because it is unable to find an alternative location for the market.

Smithfield Square has undergone a regeneration and with the arrival of the Luas Robert Kenny of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) says the current location of the Smithfield Horse Fair is dangerous.

It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

The fair remains popular with tourists and horse dealers alike. Bernard Fagan President of the Smithfield Horse Fair is adamant the traders want to remain in Smithfield as it has been home to markets for the best part of 400 years.

It’s the only bit of tradition we have left in Dublin.

Horse dealer Fran Groves would like to see Dublin City Council to provide young horse owners with a club

Many Smithfield residents want the fair closed down, but were this to happen, Dublin City Council would be legally obliged to provide an alternative site with a purpose-built centre. 

Councillor Christy Burke says that dues to the lack of available funding this is unlikely to happen. Local councillors in Ballymun and Finglas have made it clear they will oppose any plan to move Smithfield Horse Fair there.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 November 2008. The reporter is John Kilraine.