King Puck has again been taken down from his cage overlooking Killorglin, Co Kerry, in advance of rising midday temperatures.
A spokeswoman for the annual Puck Fair said the goat was removed from his traditional perch at around noon on Thursday as temperatures soared during the festival. He was reinstated late on Thursday night as temperatures dropped, but he was taken down again on Friday.
“Following hourly veterinary checks and a clean bill of health, King Puck was reinstated on the stand last night once temperatures dropped.
“Today he is back in the shade with plenty of cold water and food while his hourly veterinary checks continue,” the committee said.
Friday is known as Scattering Day at Puck Fair, and it will see the close of the three-day festival and the formal dethronement of the King Puck.
It is not clear if the goat will go up again for the official ceremony, which closes with a huge fireworks display along the river Laune.
Traditionally the goat crowned King Puck in advance 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. This year’s king — a white, black and brown goat — was captured in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.
The festival includes traditional horse and cattle fairs and hundreds of stalls selling wares, and this year it has drawn record crowds.
However, the fair has come under sustained attack by animal rights advocates and others for putting the goat up in a metal cage in such heat.
TD Danny Healy-Rae on Friday morning attacked the fair’s critics. The goat has always been looked after well, and the people ringing national radio were “against everything” and had nothing better to do, he told Radio Kerry.
“They never seem to be for anything, only against everything,” he said.
Farmers knew instinctively how to look after animals and often did so to the clear neglect of themselves, the TD said.
Mr Healy-Rae urged people to attend the festival on Friday and to enjoy themselves.