I was talking to Tom Byrne assistant secretary of Dunderry Fair and he told me how it all started. In the inaugural year, 2004, the people flocked to Dunderry Co. Meath expecting to have a good time and they were not disappointed. At least 6000 people turned out in the warm sunshine on the village street. It was 150 years since the last fair was held in this little village south of Navan Co Meath. From there on the fair has grown from strength to strength and last year recorded a record 16,000 people in attendence.
Every year a great selection of very well restored tractors and cars are on display along with vintage farm implements and stationary engines. A great display of old crafts are on view such as butter making, flower milling and the old working forge.
The fair brings back many memories to a lot of old folk and has a lasting impression on the young. You are garunteed a large turn out of farm animals lining the village street. Milking goats by hand and having rare bred animals on show are all part and parcel of the fair. You can see the buying and selling of animals the old way. Some of these animals have travelled back to places as far as the Arran Islands.
The local branches of the ICA put on a good show of baking, weaving, sewing, painting, flower arranging etc and the local national schools participate in an art competition.
The local matchmaker Tom Feeney is always in full swing setting up blind dates in the school bicycle shed and as a result of a match at the fair Tom has a wedding at the end of the year.
The kids too are well entertained with half an acre full of amusements. They must think they are in Euro Disney with the bouncing castle, face painting, kid’s quads and lots more. There are numerous sideshows including duck fishing with Shane and Enda and a dog show.
To think all this started in Geraghtys pub on Friday 6th Feb 2004 with fifteen local lads with nothing on their minds but time. Sean Mc Kenna, Tom Byrne, Oliver Carty, Eugene Smyth, Gus Martin, Kevin Keavney, Cathal Smith, Shane Boylan, Henry Callaghan, John Newman, Aidan Lightholder, Dinny Feeney, Pat Smyth, James Brogan & Michael Smith.