Doonamona Fair Green

The oldest, and at one point the largest, fair in Mayo was in the Clogher area. It was known as the Fair at Doonamona. The fairs were held on the 17th of October and on the 26th of May (Michigan State University, 2009).

The fairs at Doonamona were well attended and large in magnitude. The fair gave the local community the opportunity to buy and sell cattle, and tents were set up so that vendors could sell sweets, biscuits, drinks and sugar cane. In fact, it is said that there were up to 12 tents that sold drinks alone. There were various games at the fair including ‘trick of the loop’ and ‘wheel of fortune’ (Garry, M; n.d.). These events had a very festive atmosphere and really brought the Belcarra and Clogher communities together. It is also said that many young ladies would parade around the fairground in their Sunday best, hoping to catch the eye of a wealthy farmer (Michigan State University, 2009).

With the advent of railways other fairs took over from Doonamona—especially the fair at Balla. Doonamona Fairs continued until the 1970’s “but for over 50 years they were in decline” (Garry, M; n.d.). Mike Garry (n.d.) recounts the great characters—many of them farmers—who would attend the fairs. Garry writes, “One of the lessons in my English book was about Ireland being an island of saints and scholars. We have a lot more scholars than we had then, but I am afraid we have not nearly as many saints.” (Garry, M; n.d.).


  1. Michigan State University, Study Abroad Programme. (2009). Doonamona Fair Green. Internal Report: Folder 2, Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail—Clogher Environmental Group Ltd. Unpublished.

  2. Garry, M. (n.d.) (Lisblowick, Clogher). The Fair of Doonamona. ‘Clogher—Down Memory Lane’ p 90.