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The Sheep's Head Market

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
  • The Sheep's Head Market

The elements conspired to help the fist ever Sheep's Head Market, in the little village of Kilcrohane, far down the peninsula in West Cork. The little fields are being cut for silage, making a chessboard landscape. Buttercups brazen it out with dandelions to see who wins the maillot jaune, wild honeysuckle is emerging in hedgerows as elder flowers begin to decline, and cramp bark makes its bid to be the new hero of the moment.

In Kilcrohane, arrayed in front of the pub at the river bank, there are tables and canopies, an old Land Rover where you can buy lobster and crab, a table of cards and art works from Ahakista's Heron Gallery, pickled eggs and fresh eggs, plants and salads, cupcakes and slabs of brown cake – good local soda bread. Helen from Durrus has a table of pottery, Amanda has her photographs made into cards, and there is even hot Thai food, as you would expect in West Cork.

It's all quite lovely, and on a human scale, a great debut for the people of the peninsula. It reminds me of the Ireland of 40 years ago – slow; naive; wise; home-grown. The locals want to make it a regular, fortnightly event. See you there on the 19th.

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