Until, my first visit to Waterford I was unaware that the cruel practice of Bull-Baiting had ever taken place in Ireland
Bull-baiting was widespread in Ireland in the 17th–19th centuries. In Dublin, bull-baiting took place near the Cornmarket and in Smithfield. On St Stephen's Day 1789 a riot followed a bull-bait, soldiers fired on the crowd and four were killed.
In Wexford, the activity arrived in 1621, brought by the Guild of Butchers; bulls were baited twice a year and their hides presented to the Mayor. The area where bull-baiting took place is still called the Bullring.
In Kilkenny it took place at the site called The Ring, first in 1609, and commonly on the feast-day of John the Baptist (December 27). The last recorded bull-bait was in 1837, after they had become illegal under an 1835 Act.
Bull-baiting also took place in Waterford, Naas, Drogheda, Tuam, Carrickfergus, Belfast and Athlone.