Update on new Bye Laws on Smithfield Horse Fair

6th January, 2013


As you know the City Council prepared draft bye laws which were the subject of public consultation until the end of November last. During that process seventeen submissions were received by Dublin City Council from local residents, businesses and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.  Of the submissions received, only two failed to support the proposals drafted by the Casual Trading Sub-Committee of the City Council. These revised plans were considered by Dublin City Councillors at its January meeting last Monday evening and were unanimously passed by the Council.



The approved Smithfield Horse Fair Control Bye-Laws 2013 will mean that only two Horse Fairs will be permitted each year. This will cut the number of fairs from twelve to two and they will occur on the first Sunday of March and September each year. Each of these fairs will be permitted to take place between 9am and 1.30pm. Restrictions will be in place relating to where horses can be sold and that all documentation required under existing legislation will have to be provided in order for horses to be sold. Anyone wishing to attend the Horse Fair with a horse will have to “obtain from the Council a Casual Trading Licence” in advance. This will further enable the City Council, animal protection officials, Revenue and Gardai to better police those attending the horse fair.


My colleague and your local Fine Gael Councillor Ray McAdam met with the Smithfield Horse Owners prior to Christmas to discuss these Bye Laws and their support for them. It was clear to Councillor McAdam that the horse owners will work within the constraints included in the Bye Laws and that they will help police the Horse Fair in partnership with the City Council and other agencies to ensure that no further disturbances occur. Both Ray and I welcome their passing by the City Council as they will help to copper fasten the efforts taken across recent months to make it safer and more resident friendly as well as helping to better manage the citywide control of horses problem.



The first Horse Fair to take place under these new arrangements will be on Sunday March 3rd. In advance of this fair taking place, work will be undertaken by the City Council in conjunction with businesses, residents and the Horse Owners to ensure that the fair proceeds as safely as possible. Parallel to this process, Councillor McAdam and I are working with the City Council to ensure that the Cultural Framework Plan put forward by Ray last year is delivered. Given that the Council has spent substantial monies in recent years enhancing the public space in Smithfield Square we need to ensure that the area is fully utilised by the presence food markets, book fairs or music events for example. If you have any particular ideas about potential events, both Councillor McAdam and I would be delighted to hear from you. I hope you find this information of interest and if there are any outstanding questions or queries resulting from the details outlined above, please get in touch with me and I will do my best to answer any enquiries that you may have.