School: Rathwire (C.) (roll number 8416)

Rathwire, Co. Westmeath
Mrs. Caffrey
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0727, Page 490

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0727, Page 490

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  1. On 26th December St Stephen's Day, there is great fun as the "Wren Boys" go from house to house. There is more enjoyment when the big boys come as they dress themselves better than the small lads.
    The small boys go in twos or threes and wear ragged clothes, and cover their faces with bits of veils or vizards or false faces.
    The bigger people are very well done up sometimes. They colour their faces and wear false whiskers. Some have tall silk hats. One or two generally dress like girls.
    When they come to a house the young crowd have a sort of nest on the end of a stick, dressed with holly. They sometimes have a wren in a jampot, but often they have only a few feathers.
    They stand at the door and sing or shout out a rhyme. Then the people give some coppers
    (continues on next page)
    Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.
    Bridie Leavy