Showing off a horse at Smithfield Horse Market, Dublin

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }
.flickr-yourcomment { }
.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

The horse market at Smithfield, Dublin takes place on the first Sunday of every month. People come from all over Ireland to trade horses and equipment. It’s absolute chaos, with young kids galloping across the cobbles on distressed looking ponies, horses whinnying, gardai chasing jaunting cars on their bicycles. A big part of the horse scene involves the keeping of animals, by Dublin urban youth, in gardens or public areas. The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the market facilitates the sale of horses to under-16s, who are then unable – or unwilling to look after them. Amongst the dozens of horses visible, I did see a couple of examples of cruelty – the most obvious one of all was by an elderly man, kicking his pony in the stomach for no apparent reason.

There’s talks by Dublin City Council of moving the market out of the city – as Smithfield becomes increasingly gentrified, the more urbane of the urban dwellers in the surrounding apartments are apparently unimpresssed with the smell of horse shit once a month!

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.


Comments are closed.