A Taste of Irelandby Mary Bermingham
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When I first went to Ballinasloe fair in 1987 the price of a donkey was 5 punts. If I had rented a big field and bought them all up I would be a donkey tycoon today! The place was flooded with them. No longer needed to pull the little orange donkey carts full of turf, people had got fed up of looking at them standing about in the field, and loaded them up into their trailers to sell at the fairs. Tragically most of them ended up on the boat to France for salami or in a truck destined for the horse abattoir to feed the lions in Dublin zoo.
They then became quite scarce and it is much rarer now to see ‘the lad with the long ears’ leaning out over a gate. In the Celtic tiger years the price of a donkey reached 1000 euro. Now that common sense has been restored to Ireland they are advertised on the Done Deal trading website for between 50 and 200 euro.
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