School: Naomh Eoin, Cill Choinnigh (roll number 1301)

Location:
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
Teacher:
Bráthair Tomás Mac Binéid

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The Wren Day

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0856, Page 134

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1. Martin Dwyer
2. Greenridge, Kilkenny
3. Age 11 years
4. Schoolboy
5. Greenridge, Kilkenny
6.Stephen Dwyer
7. a week ago
8. 40 years
26/1/38
The Wren-day.
The wren boys or the mummer boys appear in public on St Stephen's day attired in all manner of dress and headgear, wearing all manner of faces, as if their everyday faces were not handsome enough for them. They emerge from every nook and corner, give public performances in the nature of mouth-organ and tin whistle recitals and generally disturb the peace of the city graveyards. In order that their babes might not be disturbed from their slumber to join in the music, father and mother generally give the visitors any small change they might have, but as often as not they give them the boot or the door, that is if the dog is not knocking about the house.
Last St Stephn's day when battalions of mummers had called on their rounds I noticed one lone mummer coming along wearing his mothers shawl and his fathers Sunday hat. There was nothing doing in any of the houses at which he called and to make worse Biddy Finnegan's mongerel terrier from Ballbough ran away with his mother's shawl and he lost his father Sunday hat.
The wren boys are nothing like they used to

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Collector
Martin Dwyer
Gender
male
Age
11
Occupation
schoolboy
Address
Greenridge, Co. Kilkenny
Informant
Stephen Dwyer
Gender
male
Age
40
Address
Greenridge, Co. Kilkenny
Language
English