Irish school strap

Example of an Irish school strap.
Marks made by an Irish school strap.

The Irish school strap was used by some Roman Catholic teaching orders such as the Irish Christian Brothers as an instrument of corporal punishment (strapping).

It was a relatively short implement (about 18 ″ (46 cm) long) but thick (about 38 ″ (9.5 mm) ) so quite painful if administered hard. The thickness was achieved by stitching two or more layers of leather together. Sometimes the "business end" was given extra ferocity by weights sewn in. At the non-"business end" a handle was shaped to give a better grip.

Although it was commonly given on the hands it was also sometimes administered across the buttocks. Unlike tawses, there does not appear to have been any standard or approved design of the Irish school strap, although all were of similar dimensions. Some straps were made of tan leather and others of black.

The general nickname used by the Irish Christian Brothers for the strap was the "leather". Spoken in an Irish accent it sounded like "de ledder".

See alsoEdit