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.



Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.