Creeslough Fair Day
Local people and farmers from all over came to attend the Creeslough Fair day. Which was traditionally held on the 10th of each month. They often walked from Hornhead, Faugher, Cashel and Brockass to attend the fair day. In the poem by James N Jonston he remembers the Creeslough Fair.
Creeslough Fair By James N Johnston If you have never been to a Creeslough Fair. Nor had a look at the doings there, In the olden times lamamas or May; You have missed a rousing holiday. Tis a pleasent task once more to recall The buying and selling by Hastings' Wall; Where to chee the heart and banish care. Crowds gathered from far to the Creeslough Fair. They came from Fanad, Glen and Castle Doe From Cloughaneely and around Myroe; From Ramelton and all along the Lennon Letterkenny, Milford and Kilmacreenan On horse, on foot, on loaded cart From Dunfanaghy, Faugher, Derryart By the side of Muckish, past Creamsmear they travelled in groups to the Creeslough Fair. Sturd farmers, children from school; Housewives bringing spun lint and wool; Young men and the girls they most did prize With a wealth of hair and dangerous eyes- Black, blue or brown there was always peril In going to the fair with a Donegal girl. For full of many a match came unaware And two hearts made one at a Creeslough fair. There were donkeys, horses, foals and mares Cows, heifers and calves, bullocks in pairs Sheep, drovers, tinkers and keen farmer boys Buying and selling with hand clap and noise. When the buying and selling were over and done. The time then arrived for the frolic and fun. So we go to the inn and stand treat to our friends There is music and song and happy day ends.
Farmers brought their animals along the road and met others on the way. Sometimes a deal was struck even before they made it to the town.
The day was a hub of buying and selling of cattle, sheep, pigs, horses and chickens. With the best mart day for horses in February, cattle and sheep in May and August being the largest Fair. The Lammas Day Fair
Lammas Day Fair
One of the highlights of the Lammas Day Fair was that the Delph man came with all his crockery. And the women could get some nice bits for the house. There were also many stands selling clothes, shoes, hardware and gooseberries.
Making the deal
Children would often attend the fair with a few coins in their hand. As buyers and sellers shoke 3 times on a deal ‘some change was given back to the buyer as good luck or a ‘lucky penny’.
Sometimes these good luck pennies found their way into the hands of the local children who went on to buy treats at the fair. My own grandmother recalls how she would walk to the fair with 6pence and come home with nothing having spent it all.
There was often a third person in the deal when trying to negotiate with the sellers. The third person often tried to drive down the price for the buyer. Later the buyer and ‘faux’ buyer would meet up in the pub to recall the banter of making the good deal over a few pints.
All too often the fair day ended in the local public hous or inn (Harkin’s). As the sellers and buyers they drank to their good deals. Travelling musicians and fiddlers played in the pub.
As new marts opened in Milford and Letterkenny the Creeslough fair didn’t draw the big crowds and by the 1960s the Creeslough fair was almost all gone. But locals from around the area still continued for many years to come into the town on the 10th of each month to do their shopping or dealing.