Riot at wedding in Mayo

Published: 14 March 1914

A wedding at Swinford in Mayo ended with four local men being charged with riot, unlawful assembly and assaulting a police officer.

The wedding was taking place in the home of Anthony O’Brien when nine men - known as Strawboys - arrived in disguise wearing masks of straw. They were armed with shovels, scythes, forks and sticks and demanded drink. They were given a bucket of beer, which they consumed. Two of the men then danced and demanded more drink. They were given a second bucket of beer and then a third.

When they became disorderly a fight ensued, during which one of the wedding party produced a gun. During the fight the police officer was assaulted - he was heard to shout ‘I am killed’ - and it only ended when shots were fired in the air.

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