The Fair Day

This is a child page of Our Monaghan

At the crack of dawn, the farmer and his wife were up and going about their chores. It was still dark so they used a hurricane lamp or a candle to show light in the barn and out-houses. There was an air of excitement. It was the Fair Day in Monaghan.

On the outskirts of the town , dealers were gathering to meet the farmers on their way. They hoped to do a deal before the fair began. Every road into town had its stream of cattle being driven by farmers and helpers. They drove the cattle with big sticks or ash plants. All were heading for Park Street or Back Street, where the fair was held on the first Monday of every month.

As the street filled up, it became a mass of moving beasts and men. Steam rose from the animal's backs, the smell of cattle filled the air, and all the while the buyers and sellers struck bargains and made deals.

The "eating houses" in the town did a brisk trade, providing dinners and teas. The public houses were full, and Park Street was thronged. At that time there were railings around St.Joseph's Church. When the children got out of school at lunchtime, they had to make their way through the herd of cattle. The best way to go was behind the railings of St.Joseph's and come out at St.Macartan's Hall. Even then you had to push your way on up Park Street as best you could. 

If you look closley, today you may see some metal railings on the windows of the houses in Park St., these protected the windows from the cattle on the Fair Day.

In the evening the street was a mess, and the cattle which now had new owners, started their long trek to their new homes. Another Fair Day was over and Park Street was just another ordinary street for the rest of the month.


(Extract from Monaghan Images)

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