To some it's a pagan festival, to others its an obscure tale about how Killorglin Town defeated the Cromwellian army.
At the centre of it all is a hardy goat, crowned as the town king and married to a thirteen year old girl to complete the ceremony. Hoisted on a pedestal to oversee all the glory of Killorglin, the cattle on the street, the lights from the big wheel that illuminate the night, the pickocketers making their harvest. He overhears all the various human songs, every rumour, every laugh, the roars of the crowd, the drunken fights. The wisdom he takes back to his tribe must be invaluable to the herd.
There is a timeless nature to this festival, deep rooted in Ireland's agrarian history. It takes place in a townland that allows wild animals to roam the landscape almost freely, in this case the goats often share farmland and roadsides with the locals. There is a love of wildlife and nature in Killorglin. That connection is strengthened by the temporary capture of the puck goat in my opinion. It connects the town with the surrounding hillsides, it becomes part of their dna, puck is what it means to be from Killorglin, and no one is taking that away from them.
There has been some nonsensical criticism of the festival in recent years. I'm not sure who all these people are but I presume that they're not all vegan warriors. Plant diet extremists aside, regular people need a reality check on where their food comes from, on a par the goat is very well handled and cared for.
From an evolutionary standpoint goats love climbing, they love being up high. No one can actually see the goat on the pedestal, he's too far above the crowd. The platform is not for the spectacle of the visiting traveler, it's for the love of the goat. Having king puck in a pin on the ground, subject to countless Instagram photoshoots and being groomed by every passer by would be far more damaging to his well being, and not very royal at all I might add.
Most of the cancel culture mob is targeting an event they've never been too. Some shout about animal welfare without changing anything in their own lives. Some people frame progress in terms of breaking traditions. The only people in this mob without double standards are the goat owning vegans who do not profiteer from their herbivore buddies, but everyone else is anti-craic, overly opinionated, and quite frankly too urbanised to appreciate what's going on.
Long live puck, hoist him up.