of Cahirmee, like many more Irish fairs, cannot be explained. It
has existed since time immemorial, and is described in the
ancient documents of the reign of Charles II, as the "Fair Field
of Cahirmee." The Fair was held at Cahirmee until 1921 when it
moved to the town of Buttevant. The reason for this is not very
clear. Some people say it was because the horse buyers began to
purchase horses when they were coming in from the railway and
eventually the trading started on the streets of Buttevant.
Another reason put forward is that around the time of the Fair
in 1921, the Irish Treaty was signed and exhibitors, buyers and
purchasers arrived for the Fair, they found all approaches to
the field were manned by the I.R.A. and were told that the Fair
would be held in the town of Buttevant.
There were early
pointers to the coming of the great event. Every shop and house
in the town would be getting its annual coat of paint.
Practically every house was a hostelry for that week, and visits
were made to friends in the country, for loans of bedding, ware,
afternoon an exodus would commence along Station Road, this time
of bought horses moving to the station. They would come in rows
of four, haltered together, and each row led by a man. With the
departure of the horses the street took on a different
appearance, for such horses as were not sold were stabled for
the night. The street was still crowded, but now humans
predominated. Here and there, of course, there was a horse or a
horse and car; but now the business of trading was ended for the
day, and the traders allowed themselves to relax.
Two famous horses are reputed
to have been bought at Cahirmee Fair. Napoleon's horse "Marengo"
in 1799 and Wellington's charger "Copenhagen" around 1810. For
the past ten years or so the Fair has been in decline, the
number of horses are not as great as they were in the past, even
though the crowds of people still come to the annual event on