… in the 18th century
A historian claims to have found evidence of witchhunts, mass trials and brutal punishments in 18th century Ulster that mirrored the panic experienced in mainland Europe. Marie Louise McCrory reports
Fear of witchcraft was common in Ulster in the early 1700s – leading to at least one mass trial and church-inspired investigations into claims of witchcraft, a University of Ulster academic has claimed.
I’m not sure why this is news – Ireland had several high-profile trials and witch burnings. Check out
Irish Witchcraft and Demonology by St. John D. Seymour (1913)
Seymour proposes that the witch-craze was more muted in Ireland than elsewhere in Europe. Relatively speaking, there appear to have been fewer cases in Ireland. This doesn’t mean that the consequences were any less harsh for the accused. In these texts we can see how people exhibiting what we would today consider schizophrenic or senile behavior were vulnerable to being accused of witchcraft.
Irish News: North gripped by witchcraft fear in 18th century