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Queen Elizabeth I granted Tallow to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586 following the Desmond Rebellion. He, in turn, sold the town to Sir Richard Boyle, who later became the Earl of Cork. Boyle significantly improved the fortunes of the town, securing it a charter.
Tallow is probably best known for its annual horse fair. Running for over 100 years, it is one of the oldest in Ireland. Held at the beginning of September each year, the horse fair attracts national and international buyers and sellers, as well as throngs of visitors.