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*Photograph: David Crimmins

For the second year in a row and only the third time in its history, the Spancihill Fair has been cancelled.

Organisers of the world famous horse fair have decided that what would be its 400th anniversary will not proceed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A spokesperson confirmed to The Clare Echo, “Having monitored the COVID-19 situation closely and waited as long as possible to take this decision, it now seems likely that restrictions on gatherings will remain for the foreseeable future”.

Horse buyers from all over the country and Europe attend the well-known fair. It’s tradition dates back to the 1600s when it received its royal charter from King Charles.

A legal dispute between the Ennis Urban Council and the owners of the Fair threatened to curtail its running in the early 1920s but the matter was resolved allowing for the famous fair to be held.

Prior to COVID-19, the only previous cancellation was due to the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001.

Visitors will have to hold off until 2022 to attend the Spancilhill Horse Fair which is noted for taking place on the 23rd of June.

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