As 1998 was the
200th anniversary of the 1798 rising, a group of people were formed to attend
commemoration events, dressed in period clothes. To give this group a coordinated look, it
was decided that the dress would be black boots, black trousers, white shirt and sometimes
a hat. Each member would also carry a Pike ( a spear-like weapon used at the time, with
great effect against cavalry)
This idea caught on, and before long, Pikegroups had been formed in most
parishes in Co. Wexford and some other counties. These groups were trained to march and do
weapons drill. Army and army reserve personnel were in great demand during this time, to
train all these willing Pikegroup members. It was for this reason that I was
"conscripted" by my Company Sergeant (Myles Nugent) to help train our pike
group. As is wont to happen, he later left me to carry on on my own with our group.
It was amazing to see the improvements in drill as the number of
commemorations attended grew. by the end of it all, everybody (except for the few who are
born with two left feet) was working in complete unison.
These commemorations were carried out for the whole of 1998 and a few were
not completed until 1999. An association of Pikepeople has been formed, with a view to
carrying out these commemorations oftener than what had been approximately every 50 years
. Our group -along with a lot of others- have disbanded, preferring to leave it to
the next generation as had become the tradition.