Meitheal‘ is an Irish word which means a group of people working together – usually saving the hay or cutting the turf – and all working in a group of camaraderie and friendship which makes the workload lighter and more enjoyable for everyone.
The Puck Fair Organising Committee is truly a modern day version of a ‘meitheal’. Throughout the long Winter evenings, the bright Spring days and the sunny Summer nights, a group of about 20 volunteers give of their time and expertise to plan, organise and deliver a free Family Festival of traditional music, street entertainment, parades, dancing, concerts, arts and crafts displays and sales, workshops and much, much more plus ensuring the continuation of the crowning of a male goat as Ireland’s only king, Rí an Phoc go deo.
Meticulous planning goes into organising Ireland’s oldest Fair and Festival – first mentioned in the history books in 1613, when King James I of England granted a Charter to local landlord Jenkin Conway to collect tolls from the animal dealers at the annual Lúnasa fair.
Health and Safety, traffic management, firework displays, on-street trading, programme details etc. all get careful consideration to ensure that every possible risk element is discussed and planned for. The successful Puck Fairs of recent years are a witness to the dedication of all the volunteers, stewards and public officials who work diligently behind the scenes to ensure that the Puck Festival is a unique and enjoyable experience for all our worldwide visitors.
My thanks to the many, many people, Gardaí, County Council, Public officials, very generous sponsors and the people of Killorglin who are the ‘meitheal‘ who contribute so much to the success of Puck Fair and Festival every year.