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On the go for over 400 years and considered one of the oldest horse fairs in the world, located in the Farm Market (officially Margadh na Feirme, as in the nearby Luas station), Smithfield Horse Fair is held on the 1st Sunday of each month.
But dont expect to see any horses at the horse fair.
The Smithfield area of north-west inner city Dublin was rebirthed by the Celtic Tiger. What was a dark and delapidated area has become one of the brightest, heavily-populated and tourist-friendly parts of the city. But at a cost.
Various state agencies (eg Dail Eireann, Dublin City Council, An Garda Siochana) initially attempted to end the horse fair by constitutional legal means, but were frustrated by the fairgoers reliance upon ancient market rights which could not be readily extinguished.
So why No Horses if the fair could not be legally extinguished ?
My dear fellow-cachers, who among us would cheerily go a cachin' if subjected to a pre-caching regime by a collection of persons, each of whom have the power of detention -
the Gardai will ensure that your vehicle is properly taxed and tyred, and the driver doesnt even carry a mobile phone yet alone use one. A quick but vigorous bodysearch will ensure you are not carrying any dangerous impliments such as pens, screwdrivers, torches, magnetic grabs. A quick check of the Pulse (the Garda computer, not your heartbeat) will identify any outstanding parking fines, any criminal offence from your past, and, for good measure, any nebulous interaction with the police authorities which may have resulted in you making it into the Pulse. Be sure to have geo dog's licence to hand.
the HSA, ie Health and Safety Authority, will ensure you are properly licensed and correctly attired for the task in hand. Safety helmet, high vis vest, anti-slip steel toe-capped boots, flare and an approved medical kit are such obvious requirements that a failure to comply simply must result in a lifelong ban.
the Revenue Commissioners will ensure you are tax-compliant. Having a current tax clearance cert will reduce but not necessarily negate the requirement for an instant audit. Try convincing the official that you just spent the day caching but have no declarable income from your day's intense activity. Worse again, try proving how you can afford to indulge in such an exotic activity.
the HSE ie Health Service Executive, will perform a wide range of activities. The Community Welfare Officer will ensure that geo baby's new buggy is not mistreated by ramblings on 2 star+ terrain. The Social Worker will ensure that geo baby is never ever left in the car, and the packed lunch for the minors complies with all regulations - dont risk being spotted going to the chipper.
the C&E, ie Customs and Excise, will ensure that the 4x4 runs on green fuel only.
the Social Welfare Officer will ensure that if you are in receipt of unemployment assistance or benefit, you are available for any work offered to you. How can you claim to be available for work if you spend your time caching ? Dont worry unduly if your dole is cut, you have a right of appeal (ha ha!).
It used be called Smithfield Square. Now its Smithfield Plaza.
There are No Horses to be found on Smithfield Plaza, even on a Sunday morning.
Except for one small cache, right in the middle. BYOP
hc naq uvtu, evtug unaq fvqr.