One of the major events in Buttevant is the traditional Cahirmee Horse Fair that takes place every July 12th on the Main Street. The fair is believed to have roots back in Ireland’s prehistoric past, when Mee was a High King of Munster, and his royal seat was nearby to the east of Buttevant.
The fair originally took place in the townland of Cahirmee some 3 miles east of Buttevant. This spot is considered to be in the center of Munster. It moved into Buttevant town at the beginning of the 1920s as buyers and sellers felt threatened by the political turmoil of the time. The Irish Travellers were ardent supporters of the horse fair and crowds gathered to buy and sell horses, meet family and friends and have weddings. There was also a famous “parade of caravans” when highly polished and decorated barrel-top caravans were paraded through the town. The winner would receive a trophy.
Today the fair is a lively and fun gathering of residents, people who lived in the area, the horse trade and tourists and the event is always a great source of excitement and anticipation.
According to local legend, one of the most famous horses sold in Buttevant, was Napoleon’s horse Marengo, used in the retreat from Moscow during the winter of 1812.