Leenane Ram Fair - October

In late October and November, as the season transitions, it marks the time for the rams to be let out for what is affectionately known as "tupping time". During this period, farmers strategically rotate their rams every couple of years to prevent inbreeding, ensuring the health and vitality of their flocks. A pivotal event during this time is the Annual Blackface Ram Fair held in Leenane, which transcends its agricultural significance to become a vibrant social occasion.

The day of the fair begins before the break of dawn, with dedicated farmers making their way to the venue as early as five in the morning. In the pre-dawn darkness, the sight of these early birds navigating through the various trailers with torches in hand is a familiar scene, eager to catch the first glimpse of the available stock. By midday, as the sun climbs higher in the sky, most of the serious deals have already been struck, and the atmosphere buzzes with the exchange of livestock and camaraderie.

However, the pace of the fair is not hurried; it embodies a tradition of respect and courtesy. It would be considered the height of bad manners to rush through transactions. Instead, before any purchase is made, it is customary for farmers to engage in lengthy conversations, discussing the lineage, health, and temperament of the animals they are considering. These discussions often extend beyond mere business transactions, fostering connections and strengthening the bonds within the farming community.

As you might expect, the village bustles with activity on the day of the show, so it's wise to arrive early to soak in the atmosphere. After the day's transactions are concluded, things can get quite spirited and lively. It's truly a fantastic opportunity to mingle and engage with some of the area's most colourful personalities.

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