Music dance and craic on the streets of Carraigaline County Cork with the Wren Boys.

The Wren Boys and Strawboys took over the streets in Carrigaline today, performing for the public as is their custom on Saint Stephen's Day all around Ireland.

Wren Day, Lá an Dreoilín, is celebrated each year on 26 December, Saint Stephen's Day. Traditionally a wren was hunted and put on top of a decorated pole or holly bush. Groups of costumed men and boys, called Wren Boys, with faces blackened or wearing masks, paraded the wren through towns and villages. They called to houses to regale residents with musical laments for the unfortunate bird, as well as to collect money for its funeral.

Traditionally the Wren Boys call on households singing songs and collecting donations. In more recent years they perform in public areas of towns and villages, and collect money for charity.

The County Cork town of Carraigaline is currently at the centre of a growing revival of Irish traditional music. Large crowds turned out for today's festivities which includes a street concert throughout the day and set dancing with music provided by Wren Boys, Strawboys and other musicians. A community endeavour, the festival has been organised by local people and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

One Wren Boy who spoke to RTÉ News is very pleased with the reception they’re receiving today,

It’s a festive spirit in a festive season, and we're all enjoying it thoroughly.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 December 1995. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.