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Dublin: 3°C Friday 26 February 2021

'You'll be f***ing beaten out of town': Puck Fair protest cancelled after threatening calls

Animal rights group Aran was planning to stage a demonstration.

PUCK FESTIVAL FAIR IN IRELAND IRISH COUNTRY SCENES GOATS A bronze sculpture of King Puck in Killorglin Source: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS have called off a protest at the Puck Fair in Killorglin, Co Kerry, after receiving a number of threatening calls.

Aran has been campaigning for a controversial element of the historic fair – the hoisting of a live goat into the air for two days – to be called off.

However, this doesn’t look likely, despite their arguments that the goat is being put into a “confusing and distressing situation”.

Locals have defended the tradition, saying the animal is well looked-after during the event.

Aran has circulated what they allege to be one one threatening voicemail received over the weekend, which included the threat:

You know what? If ye come anywhere near the f***in’ town where it’s held, ye will be f***in’ beaten out of the town, and you can mark my words on that you silly f***er.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, spokesperson John Carmody said that while he was disappointed that the group would be unable to take a stand today, he believes people ‘across the country’ are now talking about the issue.

He said there were plans for around 50 campaigners to stage an hour-long protest, but this has been called off.

Local independent TD Michael Healy-Rae told the same programme that he condemns the messages the group has received, and said they are entitled to object to the hoisting of the goat, although he disagreed “completely and fundamentally” with them.

TDs return to the Dail Michael Healy-Rae Source: PA WIRE

“They’re after giving the impression that people are going to be hesitant about going to puck, or looking aft the goat and saying ‘Oh, you poor puck goat’”, he argued.

That’s a load of rubbish.

Healy-Rae added that if other goats knew how well the puck was looked after, noting that it received veterinary treatment “and treats you couldn’t get in the wild”, “they would be queuing up”.

Carmody has argued that the goat is terrified by the event, and is calling for the animal to be removed from the event or that it be the last year a live goat is involved.

Read: This year’s King Puck has been picked… But what exactly happens at the Kerry fair? >

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Nicky Ryan

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