Danny Healy-Rae insists the Puck Fair goat is safe and well looked after
"They never seem to be for anything, only against everything," said Healy-Rae of people who object to placing a goat into a cage in the middle of a heatwave and hauling it into the air.
Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has lashed out at those who take issue with the Puck Fair in his native Kerry, namely the welfare of a goat that has made quite a few headlines this week.
King Puck, the goat-shaped symbol of the Puck Fair in Kerry, was taken down from its cage on Thursday by event organisers due to the current heatwave.
A tradition of the long-running event in Killorglin sees a goat chosen every year and then placed into a cage on a high stand for 48 hours.
Puck Fair insists the goat is checked on regularly by handlers to ensure it has adequate space, food and water, on top of being examined daily by a certified vet.
However, due to the current hot spell in Ireland, animal rights activists had expressed concern regarding the welfare of the animal.
Official statement from the Puck Fair Organising Committee - 11th August 2022 pic.twitter.com/gF3om0KVsa
— Puck Fair (@puck_fair) August 11, 2022
Seems reasonable enough. Danny Healy-Rae, however, disagrees. Speaking on Radio Kerry, Healy-Rae argued that the welfare of the chosen goat has continually been looked after.
"I respect their decision to take him down on this exceptionally warm day [but] I don't believe they were wrong in the first place in putting him up there," he said. "Because they know what they're doing and this committee and all the committees over the last 400 years had the goat's welfare always at the centre."
The goat was actually reinstated on Thursday evening following veterinary checks and "a clean bill of health", according to a Puck Fair spokesperson. As of Friday afternoon, he is back in the shade and receiving cold water and food while hourly checks continue to be carried out.
Healy-Rae said that reinstating the goat was "the right thing to do" and that animal rights activists who object to the practice "interfere and interrupt" the occasion. "They never seem to be for anything, only against everything," he explained.
"I saw the goat and the goat is fine," Healy-Rae continued. "I was glad to see that people were enjoying themselves in Killorglin last night and not locked up like we have been for the past few years."
The three-day festival is set to conclude today, Friday 12 August.
Featured Images via Eamonn Farrell / Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie