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Updated 06/02/2015


Cahirmee Fair

The origin 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, and cutlery.'

In the 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 the 12th.