News & Features


Sunday March 06, 2011

The DSPCA have called for the Smithfield Horse Fair to be shut down once and for all following scenes of criminality and violence today.

Gun shots fired at the fair resulted in scenes of mayhem as frightened horses and terrified people created a stampede throughout the plaza.

Jimmy Cahill CEO of the DSPCA said “Watching people literally running for their lives this morning as frightened horses reared up following gun shots should make the new Government realise that the time for talking is over.

If injured and neglected horses being traded in a city centre does not motivate our legislators to action then today’s outrageous scenes where children were injured in the stampede and people removed to hospital with gun injuries should. Emergency legislation is now required to shut the Fair down completely. “This is not some quaint tradition that celebrates Ireland’s love for horses.  This is a major health and safety issue that today moved firmly into criminality”.

Today’s Fair , the March Market, is the largest of the monthly fairs. Smithfield plaza is currently undergoing construction and only half the plaza was available meaning today up to 400 horses were crammed into limited space making conditions particularly hazardous.

The DSPCA have repeatedly called for legislation that would shut down the Fair and last week Dublin City Council (DCC) asked people to stay away from the Fair because of the Health and Safety concerns. “The Smithfield Market is unlicensed, unregulated, and completely unsuitable for horses .We have regularly come across neglected and injured horses here, which flies in the face of Ireland’s reputation as a nation of horse lovers.

Today’s outrageous scenes show that it is also unsuitable for people. It is a black market and today’s events must be the final nail in the coffin for the event”.

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