Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has unveiled a plaque in commemoration of nine people convicted of witchcraft more than 300 years ago. The trial, known as the Islandmagee witch trial, took place in 1711 and is believed to have been the last witch trial to occur anywhere on the island of Ireland. Eight women were tried and found guilty of exercising witchcraft on Mary Dunbar. They were sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and to be pilloried four times on market day for six hours. In 2015, the then Larne Borough Council approved a small plaque to commemorate the trial and conviction of those involved. The commemorative plaque relating to the so-called ‘Witches of Islandmagee’ was officially unveiled at the Gobbins Visitor Centre, Islandmagee, by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, on Tuesday morning.
This commemorative plaque marks the last witch trial to take place in Ireland and remembers all those involved. The installation of the plaque is to highlight the story of the Witches of Islandmagee to those visiting the area who may not be aware of this unique piece of history. Relatives of those convicted still live in the area today and the story of the witches is still very much in the minds of local people. A special exhibition organized by Carrickfergus Museum in conjunction with Ulster University, featuring a range of interpretative applications, art installations, graphic interpretative panels, and a range of objects from museum collections, is set to launch in September.
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