The Curragh Irish Pub page 2

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Holland, Michigan
The Curragh of Kildare

Curragh is the name of a large open plain area in County Kildare. It is one of the few remaining, and certainly the largest remaining, lowland area of unenclosed grassland. Because it is such a wide-open space, it is the site of many historical events. It was also used as a meeting site for several millennia and is the setting for many mythological events. The Fianna used to meet there. The Fianna were a small band of warriors featured in the Fenian Cycle of stories.

The Irish have raced horses at the Curragh since before anyone could recall. The wide open area made it easy for those in ancient times to race horses, and for others to watch. There’s indeed record of chariot races there as early as the 3rd Century. Indeed, the Irish word curragh, in this context, means a place for the running horse.

The racetrack there is officially known as The Curragh Racecourse, but it is universally referred to as The Curragh. The first Irish Derby was held there in 1866.

The entire 5,000 acre plains are protected, first by an act of the British Parliament in 1868 and by the Irish government since independence. It’s a world renowned training area for horses and the home of many stud farms.

More on the history of The Curragh is at this website.