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"The Croppy Boy", 1798 Pikeman Memorial, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Croppy (sometimes spelt croppie; Irish: craipí) was a nickname given to Irish rebels during the period of the 1798 rebellion.


The name "croppy" derives from Ireland in the 1790s as a reference to people with closely cropped hair, a fashion which was associated with the anti-powdered wig (and therefore, anti-aristocrat) French revolutionaries of the period. Those with their hair cropped were automatically suspected of sympathies with the pro-French underground organisation, the Society of United Irishmen, and were consequently liable to seizure for interrogation by pro-British forces. Suspected United Irish sympathisers were often subjected to torture by flogging, picketing and half-hanging but the reactive contemporary torture, pitchcapping, was specifically invented to intimidate "croppys". There is evidence of United Irish activists retaliating by cropping the hair of loyalists to reduce the reliability of this method of identifying rebel sympathisers[1].


The Croppy Acre, Dublin.
The Croppy Acre in summer.

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