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Fair day was an incredible tribute to John

The late John O’Donoghue was hugely popular

CLOSE on €30,000 was raised a close-knit community at a traditional fair day held in memory of a late great community stalwart.

The Castlemaine Events Committee hosted the event in tribute to John O’Donoghue and his popularity guaranteed a huge turnout on the day.

An auction held on the day generated an impressive €7,000 on its own and generously donated lots to be sold off included lambs, foals, donkeys, timber, coal and gates to support the work of the Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry.

“We wish to sincerely thank the public for their generosity in supporting the event in John’s memory which we hope can now become an annual event,” said committee member Dara O’Connor.

“Special mention also to everyone who helped out, in any way, towards the safe running of the event. There are too many to name but, without a doubt, the community spirit was there to be seen in abundance in preparing for the fair and also for the clean-up operation after,” he said.

The location of the fair was in Griffin’s car park in Castlemaine and it was a terrific success with the splendid sunshine drawing people from near and far. In addition to the fair itself, there was plenty of entertainment on the day, including live music, entertainment for children and a bumper raffle.

Waiting for the judges…final preperations ahead of the judging for the Blackface Sheepbreeders Association 67th annual ram show and saleThe show and sale took place at Mid-Kerry Co-op Mart, Milltown, Co Kerry.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan/FREE PIC/Issued 29/09/2019

John, who resided in the heart of Castlemaine village, was born on January 21st 1965 which, ironically, happened to coincide with a staging of the old Castlemaine Fair Day, so organisers felt it appropriate to mark his lifetime love of attending fairs and being an integral part of the farming community by bringing back the old traditions and customs. The fair day was an annual event in Castlemaine but it died out in the 1990′.

John was known for his great work ethic, humour and honesty and when people mention any dealings they had with him, it is always with a smile.

His daughter, Cathy, said he loved to attend fair days throughout the county and the custom was passed on to him from his father Denis.

“Attending the fairs was not only enjoyable but it was also important to my father as he liked to keep up traditions. You would always be sure to get a bit of traditional luck back in the form of change from my father too with a deal,” Cathy said.

It was a huge shock to John, his family and friends when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May 2019. His life was cut short seven months later when he passed away he died in the Palliative Care Unit but his family, friends and neighbours in Castlemaine will ensure his memory lives on.