Puck Fair goat to be given fan to cool him down amid heatwave

Animal rights activist and others expressed concern for the animal whose coronation takes place on Wednesday in Killorglin, Co Kerry
Puck Fair goat to be given fan to cool him down amid heatwave

Anne Lucey

The wild Puck Goat at this year's Puck Fair in Killorglin, Co Kerry may be given a fan to cool him down, the fair’s spokesman has said.

If necessary the animal will be taken down a level also, if the heat gets too much, Mr Falvey told Liveline where animal rights activist and others expressed concern for the animal whose coronation takes place on Wednesday in the midst of a heatwave.

Traditionally the wild goat spends the bulk of three days and three nights on the 50 ft stand overlooking the town for the hundreds of years old festival that takes place each year on August 10th, 11th and 12th.

The puck is looked after by a team of goat catchers. A local vet monitors the goat’s health, and he is given a full health check before his coronation and being hoisted on the stand.

As well as being fed he is inoculated.

“The water is changed on a regular basis and a local farmer sources the best of heather,” Mr Falvey said.

“We will make sure we will look after the goat,” Mr Falvey said.

A fan will be on board the cage this year.

However, callers to the programme said goats were not able to cope with heat and they panted a lot and would be unable to drink.

Mr Falvey insisted “this is a wild mountain goat, used to living on heights.”

"A shaggy coat" insulated and protected him.

“We will do everything in our power and if it means keeping him down we will keep him down,” he said.

The goat was a hardy animal and a balmy breeze on high would keep him cool, he also said.

In recent years the cage had been made bigger.

“I uphold the tradition as best we can,” Mr Falvey said.

“The Goat is call and he is very well looked after. There is no distress to the animal,” a spokesman for the Killorglin Chamber of Commerce told Liveline.

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

Aran, the Animal Rights Action Network, says their concerns spanned the range of the festival – the catching of a wild goat, parading it through the town and exposing it to noise and drunken revelry.

Parade

Meanwhile, for 2022 the Sam Maguire will be make its appearance at this year’s opening parade on Wednesday evening.

It is the first time in Kerry’s history of winning all-Ireland’s the cup will appear in the coronation parade.

The ancient event - at least 400 years old - on the Laune river at the foothills of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks is back after what is effectively a three-year gap.

For the first time the All-Ireland which Kerry have won for the 38th time has been held in July - normally a month when the cup is being handed back to be shone up for September.

Visitors are already gathering in advance of the crowning of King Puck on Wednesday.

The goat, a fine well-fed specimen, was captured in the Reeks mountains, and is multicoloured.

Veterinary inspections have taken place already and the goat's health will continue to be monitored.

This year’s parade is all about family fun, from circus to puppet shows and stilt walking over the three days.

There is a full programme of events from early morning on Wednesday including the traditional horse fair and traditional music and dancing.

The coronation parade around the town will be led by Queen of Puck 12-year-old Alesha Williams who will accompany the goat at the head of the parade.

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