Spring Horse Fair 1965

Video from the RTÉ Archives

The video above has been published by RTÉ of Millstreet coming to a standstill for the Annual Spring Horse Fair of 1965. The Fair was not only a time for bargaining and dealing. It was also a social occasion that continues to attract the crowds, young and old, to the town. The video above is from a Newsbeat report broadcast on 12 April 1965, and was probably held on Sunday February 28th 1965 (the closest Sunday to March 1st). [update July 2015: the video has since been removed by RTE 🙁 ]

Below is a gallery of 27+ stills from the video. It is likely many of the people are not locals, but it would be interesting if people could help us recognise some people in the photos:

A few interesting thoughts:

  • Back in those days the fair was held in the Square, and not the Fair Field where it is now held
  • It’s interesting to see the old buildings, and the Avonmore beside the Bank of Ireland (with all its items for sale painted on the side wall), which has since been demolished and is now the entrance to Duggan Steel.
  • Did the original building where the Credit Union is now also have a rounded corner? (see the second photo below at the start of the video)
  • The Radio and TV Shop where Wordsworth now is … wasn’t that part of Buckley’s  Stores? … so what’s the Murphy’s sign over the door? (in this photo) Answer: The sign is for Murphy’s Radio, a popular brand at the time (thanks to Seán O’Riordan in the comments below)
  • Was the Bank of Ireland in Millstreet established in 1835 ? ( “Established in 1835” is on the windows in this photo). Bank of Ireland itself goes back to 1781.
  • See how everyone was dressed up in suits and ties for the day!
  • It’s easier to recognise see people in the videos, but some only appear for a fraction of a second, especially the children who would have been excited at the novelty of TV cameras
  • One of the voices in the video reminds me very much of Richie O’Connor, Ballydaly. Would it be his father or grandfather?
  • We’ve been adding more photos below since this photo was published initially so there is no harm looking again.

If you can’t see the video, you can probably still see the video on RTÉ.ie

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 02
(00:31) Brendan Kiely – centre front facing the camera with the pioner pin
1965 Spring Horse Fair - Brendan Kiely, and is that joe hickey, Killarney Rd in front of him
(00.30) Brendan Kiely (centre), and is that joe hickey, Killarney Rd Derry Horgan in front of him looking at the camera (Son of Tom Horgan who owned Coomlogane House at the time)
1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (00.35)
(00.35)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 01
(00.13)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 23
(01.32)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 22 - Wallis Arms O'Callaghan
(00:21) Gerard Dromey in front of the Wallis Arms O’Callaghan Hotel

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (00.22)
(00.22) Gerard Dromey, Murphy’s Terrace

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (01.57)
(01.57)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 21
(02.57)

 

1965 March Horse Fair (02.56) - is the lad on the right one of the Roches
(02.56) – is the lad on the right one of the Roches?

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 20
(02.48)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 19
(02.46) In the middle is Tommy Wade from Co Tipperary. He was a very famous rider who rode Dundrum to many international victories in showjumping. He is still surviving and lives in Holycross near Thurles. (Thanks to Thomas for this) (Here’s a super  interview with Tommy from 2013; also a good read in this article on Tommy & Dundrum)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 18 - D O'Keeffe's and M O'Sullivan's (now the Malpaso)
(02.45) Outside D O’Keeffe’s and M O’Sullivan’s (now the Malpaso)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 17 - trotting a horse up Main Street
(02.36) Trotting a horse up Main Street

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 16 - Bank of Ireland and Avonmore
(02.33) Outside the Bank of Ireland and the Avonmore

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 15 - Murphy's Radio and TV
(02.05) Radio and TV Shop where Wordsworth is now located … but wasn’t this part of Buckley’s Stores? and what is the Murphy’s sign overhead?

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 14 - CHI 849 outside Radleys in the Square
(02:18) CHI 849 outside Sean Radleys old house at the top of Minor Row (J.Radley over the door)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 13 - Established 1835
(02.16)

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (02.17)
(02.17)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 12 Horses in the Square
(02.01)

 

 

(time 1-22) - Is this Dan Lynch, Moulnahorna
(01:22) – Is this Dan Lynch, Moulnahorna
1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 10
(01.07) Checking the horses teeth

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 09
(01.57)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 08
(01.58)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 07 - Buckleys Stores
(01.53) Outside Buckleys Stores

 

(02:29)
(02:29)
1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 06 - Horses at the Monument and Manley's
(01.40) The old monument with Manley’s in the background

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 05
(01.35)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 04
(00.48)

 

1965 March Horse Fair - an RTÉ Newsbeat report 03
(00.46)

 

1965-02-28 Spring Fair Day - by RTÉ Newsbeat - Pat Kelly, Coomlogane
(00.32) This may be Pat Kelly, Coomlogane, but we’re far from certain. What do you think? … There’s a comment below that says that it’s Thomas Doody of Boherbue.

Th

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (01.29)
(01.29)

 

1965 Horse Fair - (02.19) Seán Radley on the left
(02:19) A young Seán Radley (on left) outside his home in the Square. The man with the horse is Seán father of Noreen Kieran (ref)

 

Jerry Óg Kelleher from Carraigthomas, Ballinagree is holding the horse
(01.30) Jerry Óg Kelleher from Carraigthomas, Ballinagree is holding the horse. Cis Buckley originally from Aubane (sister of Sonny Buckley, Aubane) is in the background with the white hat.
1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (00.13)
(00.13)

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (00.20)
(00.20)

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (01.04)
(01.04)

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (01.12)
(01.12)

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (01.29b)
(01.29b) – the girl on the left is very familiar :-/

 

1965 Millstreet Horse Fair (00.03)
(00.03) On the left of the photo is Jerry McCarthy of Church Street

 

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11 thoughts on “Spring Horse Fair 1965”

  1. Hi, Michael,
    Two points: The Murphy Sign was probably the brand name for Murphy Radio and Television, famous since 1929 and lasted up until the 1970’s.
    Second point: @ 1.31 in the video the man holding the horse is Jerry Óg Kelleher RIP from Carraigthomas, Ballinagree, Macroom, Co. Cork. He is wearing a cap. He would be related to Nell Oge who died in Millstreet Hospital in the last year or so.
    Love the Millstreet Web!!

    1. Hi Sean,
      I noticed your family name O’Riordan and wondered how popular is the name in the area of Millstreet? I ask because my grandmother, Margt (Margaret) Murphy (also known as Margaret Logan), age 26 and listed as a housewife, sailed to Montreal, Canada, from Liverpool on the Doric with my mother, 1 year old Barbara Murphy (also known as Barbara Logan), on June 27, 1930. It states on the shipping manifest that Margeret’s mother was Mrs. Catherine O’Riordan from Ballydaly, Millstreet, Co. Cork. Margaret listed a contact in Montreal, a Mrs. Jane Ryan of Ryan’s Hotel, Windsor St, Montreal. Born in the city of Cork in 1929, my mother unfortunately lost contact with Margaret in Feb, 1931 in Montreal, and I am trying to trace our family roots. Any helpful suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
      Many thanks!

      1. Hi, Lise,
        Unfortunately I’m from Bawnmore, Macroom, Co. Cork. But there are many O’Riordan Families in the Millstreet Area. My connection to Millstreet comes through the O’Leary (Adrivale) line. Sorry!!!

  2. What a joy to see the march fair as it was then I
    was 10 years old then.
    I dont think you are right in saying it was the nearest Sunday to the 1st of march this practice only came in in the recent past the fair was held on the 1st and like wise for the September fair. Fairs in Castle island Killorglin fall and are had on the given day. Millstreet is the exception by taking the fair to the nearest Sunday.

    1. Anne, you’re probably right about the fair being on March 1st. going way way back, there were many more fair days in Millstreet:

      1827: March 1, June 1 and 12, September 1 and 12, and December 1 and 12.

      1835: June 1 and 12, Sept 12 and Dec 12 were all gone !

      1875: Guy’s Alamac p135: “Millstreet – new fairs, 1st of every month; old fairs, 6 Jan 1 March, 1 June, 1 Sept, 1 dec; pig markets previous day. There is a good Horse fair held there on the 1st of March.
      Millstreet Market, Friday”

      —-

      The extract below is from Millstreet—A Considerable Town” by the Aubane Historical Society page 5

      “Leigh’s new pocket road-book of Ireland (1827 edition): Millstreet is a post town in Cork, on the mail coach line between Cork and Killarney, with a good inn. It has barracks, a church, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The neighbourhood is highly romantic, and abounds with stupendous hills, amongst which are found very ancient remains and castles. The principal objects worthy the traveller’s attention are, the Danish fort of Clondrohid, with an old church ruin; McSwiney’s fortress, called Clodagh Castle; the two beautiful mountains termed the Paps, with tunuli on the conical apex of each summitl the wild district of O’Donoghue’s country, with his old castle the brilliant rocks of Kilnamatery, resembling white battlementsl and the fine route to Killarney, with its cloud-capped hills.

      Population 1680. Fairs March 1, June 1 and 12, Sept 1 and 12, and Dec 1 and 12
      Later editions in 1832 and 1835 omit the fairs in June, Sept 12 and Dec 12 and they show a population increase to 1935 for both years.”

  3. Thank you, Michael, for uploading such a fascinating three minutes of Millstreet of exactly 50 years ago. I was 14 years old at that time and can recall the great thrill it was to have a television crew in the town on that March Fair Day. When it was shown on “Newsbeat” some days later most of us crowded into neighbours’ houses (many people did not still have a television in 1965) to witness what we considered a “technical wonder” with Millstreet being projected nationwide to all homes which at that point has just one black-and-white channel! We’ve already recognised many locals in the splendid footage – Jerry McCarthy, Tommy Radley, Gerard Hayes, Daniel M. Dennehy, John C. Casey, Edward McSweeney – the late Brendan Kiely and the late Gerard Dromey. Later we shall indicate to Michael the exact position in the timeline so that he can create further still images of such a very special occasion. Renewed thanks, Michael and the Archive Dept. of RTÉ for this precious glimpse of the Millstreet of 50 years ago.

  4. Looks like Brendan Kiely in the middle of the first photo

    —-
    Admin’s note: yes it is Brendan … but is that Joe Hickey, Killarney Rd in front of him?

    1965 Spring Horse Fair - Brendan Kiely, and is that joe hickey, Killarney Rd in front of him

  5. Great pictures from a Millsreet long gone when life was so simple and local. Pictures 6&7 feature Gerard Dromey, l and 19 is possibly Leo or Billy O’Leary, all from Murphy’s Terrace back then.

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