School: Yellow Furze

Location:
Yellow Furze, Co. Meath
Teacher:
Síle, Bean Uí Leamhain

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Easter Sunday Custom

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0684, Page 277

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During the long years in our grandparents' times and for years before that Lent was kept very strictly and for the entire 40 days no meat was used in the house.

This must have been a pretty "lean" time for the butchers and they showed their delight when Lent was drawing to a close.
In Drogheda on Easter Saturday all the butchers' boys assembled at an early hour when the people were gathering for the market and a few of them tied a herring to the end of a rope.
One of them ran through the principal streets with the poor herring dragging after him with sticks trying to get a blow at the fish, while at the same time each boy shouted to his heart's content.
This "ceremony" was called "beating the herring out of town" and my grandmother often told me it was great fun especially for the butcher's boys.

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Language
English