During the early years of the nineteenth century sections of Ireland were overrun by one of the many terrorist gangs that have from time to time existed there, known, from their peculiar but effective grass masks, as the Straw Boys. Through these masks they could see without being recognized, and their habit of dressing as women added to their grotesque appearance.
I have an article on this saved somewhere….
There it is!
I always thought it was a part of Wren Day/St.Stepehens day celebrations though, at least it was before terrorism took over the tradition…