“The Ribbon Blade”


Roman Catholic Mick Sheridan passes a parade of Yeomen. They surround him and Colston says "he commands the Ribbon Blades." They jail him in Ballina and, when bribery fails to convince him to "make discovery," hang him.


"Following an affray at Loughgall in Co. Armagh in 1795 the Orange Order was founded, while the Yeomen were also established in June 1796. These were made up mainly of men from the Orange Lodges." (source: _The 1798 Rebellion_ on the Hogan Stand site)

Zimmermann p. 19: "In some parts of Ulster, Protestant and Catholic tenants were mingled and contended for the land; the peasantry was thus divided into two camps, each having its oath-bound association. This led to a sort of religious war. At the end of the eighteenth century the Catholic "Defenders" were opposed to the Protestant "Peep o'Day Boys" or "Orangemen." The "Defenders" were succeeded by the "Ribbonmen."

An example of the conflict is the "Battle of Crossgar," March 17, 1849 (source: _17 March 1849- Battle of Crossgar_ at the Orange Pages site).

Ballina is in County Mayo. - BS

For more on the Orange Order and its founding and the troubles it inspired, see e.g. the notes to "Dialogue Between Orange and Croppy, "The Grand Mystic Order' and"The Boys of Wexford," - RBW


  1. Tunney-StoneFiddle, p. 132, "The Ribbon Blade" (1 text)
  2. BI, TSF132


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1979 (Tunney-StoneFiddle)
Found in: Ireland