Horse market – Smithfield

The horse market is held once a month in the old Smithfield quarter in Dublin - a poor, working class area, very close to the centre. It is visited by people living in the poor areas (suburbs) of the city. Most of them are teenage children who keep their horses and ponies in back gardens and waste grounds. They can afford to buy their horses because they are relatively cheap. A significant number of those who come to the horse market are traveller families for whom the love of horses is a central part of their culture. In 1999 the booming Irish economy had an impact on this historical place and the character of the Smithfield changed dramatically. The old cobblestones were lifted in the square and new ones were laid in their place. A modern, secure apartment complex was built, as was a modern hotel and pub, specially designed for tourists.