The Cock Pit
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A 'cockfight' is a blood sport between two roosters (cocks), held in a ring called a cockpit. Cockfighting is now illegal throughout Ireland. The combatants, referred to as gamecocks, are specially bred birds, conditioned for increased stamina and strength. Cocks possess congenital aggression toward all males of the same species. Cocks are given the best of care until near the age of two years old. They are conditioned, much like professional athletes prior to events or shows. Wagers are often made on the outcome of the match. While not all fights are to the death, the cocks may endure significant physical trauma.
In many other areas around the world, cockfighting is still practised as a mainstream event; in some countries it is government controlled.
Cruelty to Animals Act
Cockfighting was banned outright in 1835 under the Cruelty to Animals Act. This forced the practice underground but it still continued all over Ireland. The location would be carefully chosen, normally in official no-mans land (ie in border areas where different authorities had different jurisdiction).
Due to cockfighting being made illegal, this made the organisers and land owners think carefully about where the event was held. We believe the location of the Cockpit in this case its significant as it falls on the intersection of Tully, Coolnamarrow and Corflugh. It is also worth noting that a small section of Tully has been 'cut off' by the Coolnamorrow Road, making it a 'no-mans' land. This would have been very useful if the authorities came along as one could argue that it belongs in any of the three surrounding townlands!