School: Gortermone

Gortermone, Co. Leitrim
Mrs A. O' Reilly

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Band-Begging or Straw Men

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0229, Page 206

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This was a local custom on the occasion of a wedding. A party of young fellows collected, dressed themselves up in straw, made hats of same, carried forks & graipes prodded & scraped the door of the wedding house & demanded drink & sometimes money. If pleased they generally went in and danced some one of them asking out the bride. Drink was handed out to them.
Sometimes they acted roughly & caused trouble. The invited guests rushing out at them to drive them away with disastrous effects.
In connection with marriages another peculiar thing was that the first Sunday after the marriage the bride did not go to Mass at all. The Second Sunday was 'Showing Off Sunday'. The Bride & Groom, bride's maid, Groom's man all walked in state into the chapel all be-decked with new clothing and all eyes watching for them on "Showing Off Sunday."

Mrs A. O' Reilly