Brexit has led to difficulties obtaining insurance for Spancilhill Horse Fair in Co Clare, according to Independent TD Michael McNamara.

McNamara told the Dáil that the post-Brexit departure from the Irish market by British insurers has "compounded the difficulties" already posed by rising insurance costs and left organisers unable to secure insurance to proceed with Ireland’s oldest horse fair.

"Spancilhill is an important cultural institution in Ireland having recently been included in Ireland's National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage," McNamara said.

McNamara argued that events like Spancilhill are "endangered" and will not be around for much longer unless the Government takes action to protect them.


"Insurance is a significant obstacle for any event and occupiers’ liability is an issue for every organisation in the country," he said.

McNamara continued to say that there are other community groups organising various festivals and events this summer, having been in abeyance for two years, and they may not be able to get insurance.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Séan Fleming has proposed that he and McNamara make an approach to Insurance Ireland and Brokers Ireland about securing insurance for the event.


Minister Fleming highlighted how, in a related industry, point-to-points, pony clubs and hunts could not get insurance last Christmas.

"We got that matter sorted, again by a large group of hunts, pony clubs and point-to-point races coming together.

"Collectively, through two different brokers, they increased competition and got insurance.

There is scope to do that here, although I am not making any commitment whatever," said Minister Fleming

Minister Fleming added that this a "market issue" and that his Department will "not have a role".

"But if we can point people in a helpful direction, we will be happy to do so," he concluded.