‘Sloe News Day


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Ballinasloe Horse Fair, Ballinasloe, Co Galway

Photographer Donal Moloney writes:

2016 was just the second year I had been to the Ballinasloe Horse Fair. I only travel down for Saturday’s activities. The photographic draw of both characters and animals is magnetic.

Last year a couple of online papers slated the photographs and some even accused me of supporting animal cruelty. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Whether it’s a horse fair or a dilapidated building, I find both photographically fascinating and exciting. I record the event and allow the viewer to make up their own mind. I’m a commercial photographer but shoot such personal projects like this for my own pleasure and for no financial reward.

I also enjoy speaking to those who attend and listening to how they manage their daily lives within a culture so far removed from mine. I don’t necessarily agree with some of their traits but I respect them. One also has to remember that the traveller community only represent a part of this huge community. Most punters are genuine equine lovers both buying and selling.

One farmer from Roscommon (who I also met last year) stood in the green for 5 days with 3 horses and sold nothing. He said that sales were way down this year and blamed it on Brexit and the “pound sterling”. It’s a hard old life but they’ll all be back again next year.

Donal Moloney (Facebook)

15 thoughts on “‘Sloe News Day

  1. Starina

    those kids are wayyyy too big to be racing those ponies – it’d be very hard on their spines.

    great photos though

  2. Sheik Yahbouti

    Well I hope they won’t, Donal. Your photographs are excellent but, sadly, point up how outmoded and vaguely barbaric this ‘Fair’ is.

    1. Neilo

      It’s the real Ireland, Peter, not the echo chamber of radical poses that values good intentions over action.

  3. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    When the only criticism levied at you is the actions of your subject you must be doing something right.

    Superb photography.
    Well done Donal.

  4. Spaghetti Hoop

    Went to it once and it was raw. Not unlike a rough Asian city with an aversion to women and respectability. The drunken heckling and desperate haggling made sure I never went back.

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      Just look at the photos, SHoop.
      Stick your ‘rough Asian city’ back up your aversion.
      – It’s not about you.

      Look at the photos.
      And shut up.

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