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Folklore & School Manuscripts
of 1938

The Baile Coats of Iorrus (Urris)

We often hear the old people of Urris talking about the
baile-Coats and this is their history.

About sixty years ago there was trouble in Derry between the Protestants and the Catholics. The Orangemen were giving the Catholics a hard time and many Catholics lost their lives.

The Orangemen wanted the place for themselves and to make it a Protestant city. There were places in Derry where a Catholic dare not place his foot. News spread through the city that the Catholics were going to be massacred and immediately it spread all over Donegal. When the news arrived here in Urris, forty of the brave Urrismen prepared to march into Derry. The men from Fanad came across in boats and joined the Urrismen at lab na glaise. My grandfather was one of this crowd.

They wore home made jackets, and this was called the baile-Coats. A party of about two hundred of them marched out the Gap of Mamore. These men carried black thorn sticks. other parties joined them on the way and when they arrived in Derry there was a big crowd of the baile-Coats.

Here are two verses of a song about the baile-coats;

We met them up in Derry.
And we met them on the Wall.
But they couldn't beat the baile-coats
That came from Donegal.

From Corks own Cove to Donegal
On every hill I wee'n
Sticks, spite of soldiers or police
To the wearing of the Green.

Domaill O'Docrtaig, Rang 7

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