King Puck ‘resting in the shade’ after being removed from perch as temperatures rise

Goat usually spends three days and three nights on 50ft stand overlooking Killorglin, Co Kerry during Puck Fair

The King Puck was moved into shade before lunchtime on Thursday after a vet decided it was too hot for the goat to remain in a cage overlooking Killorglin, Co Kerry as temperatures soared during the annual festival.

A spokeswoman for the annual Puck Fair said the goat was removed from his traditional perch at around noon and was now “resting in the shade”.

“He is checked several times a day and this morning the vet decided it was too hot for him,” she said.

The goat is likely to be put back up once it cools, but a decision on this was not due to be taken until later.


Concerns had been expressed over the wild mountain goat being put on a metal stand — about 50ft in height — during a period of intense heat, with callers to RTÉ Radio’s Liveline on Tuesday saying the stress could be too much for the animal.

The Department of Agriculture said it had no role in either the capture or the display of the animal. However, it said officials were keeping a close eye on the matter. The department operates an animal welfare complaints hotline (01 607 2379) and calls are followed up by veterinary and other officers.

Animal rights campaigner John Carmody hailed the move as “a great victory for public pressure and a welcomed relief for the goat”. He called for the organisers to meet campaigners and others to design a plan for future festivals “that will keep the history of Puck but with a modern twist of compassion... without a live animal”.

Traditionally the goat crowned King Puck ahead of the fair spends the bulk of three days and nights on the stand overlooking the town while the festival takes place from August 10th to 12th. The puck is looked after by a team of goat catchers and a vet gives him a health check before his coronation and monitors him thereafter.

This year’s king — a white, black and brown goat — was captured in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.

Meanwhile, overnight water restrictions have come into effect in the Killorglin area amid high demand. The restrictions are likely to continue until Friday but the town centre, where the fair is taking place, is not affected, Irish Water said.

Water was restricted in several outlying areas between Killarney and Killorglin including nearby Milltown between 11pm and 7am to allow reservoirs to replenish.

Oliver Harney of Irish Water said there was “high demand” in the vicinity of Killorglin for the Puck Fair, which drew large crowds on Wednesday.

The restrictions are being implemented as there is a possibility that there could be insufficient water supply to homes and businesses during daytime hours with such measures.

Irish Water and Kerry County Council are monitoring water levels in a number of areas where the weather is warmest.

“We would ask the public to continue to conserve water over the coming days. It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start, but even small changes can make a significant difference — and we can all play our part,” Mr Harney said. “By reducing the water used, for example turning off the hose and avoiding power washing, we can all help ensure there is enough water for everyone as we go through the rest of the summer.”

He said small changes such as taking showers rather than baths and spending less time in the shower can make a big difference.

Members of the public can report any leaks in the public water network by contacting Irish Water 24/7 at 1800 278 278 or on