Councillor opposes memorial for Islandmagee 'Witches'

thinks they might have been 'rightly convicted'

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Councillor opposes memorial for Islandmagee 'Witches'

#1  Postby Paul » Mar 01, 2015 9:28 am

Just saw a mention of this case in Private Eye.

Witches of Islandmagee: Toil and trouble over memorial plans

The year is 1711. Eight women - including four from Islandmagee, County Antrim - are found guilty of witchcraft at Carrickfergus courthouse.

A young girl new to the area, Mary Dunbar, has accused the women of bewitching and tormenting her, culminating in a dramatic trial.

The women, who would become known as the Islandmagee witches, are all sentenced to a year in jail and forced to do time in the public stocks - a narrow escape from the death sentence.


Irish author and journalist Martina Devlin told BBC Radio Foyle she felt the women had been unfairly persecuted for centuries and deserved a posthumous pardon.

"Clearly the women were victims of a miscarriage of justice, there is nothing we regard as actual evidence against them," she said.

"The conviction still stands against these women. Even in the Salem witch trials, some of those who were convicted were given a posthumous pardon.

"I feel the women of Islandmagee deserve their good name to be restored to them."

She asked Larne Borough Council to consider putting up a plaque and plants at the new Gobbins visitor centre in Islandmagee.

However, not everyone on the council was supportive of the plan.

The Islandmagee case is one of only three witch trials known to have been held in Ireland

Speaking to the Larne Times, TUV councillor Jack McKee described the proposal as "anti-God" and said he could not support it, over worries that the plaque would become a "shrine to paganism".

The BBC article didn't report this bit

According to minutes of a council meeting in January, Ald McKee said he “could not tell whether or not the women had been rightly or wrongly convicted as he didn’t have the facts and was not going to support devil worship”.

Chief executive Geraldine McGahey advised that Ms Devlin’s book told the story of how the women had been convicted “on what appeared to be very flimsy evidence”.

Speaking to the Times, Alderman McKee claimed the plaque would become a “shrine to paganism” and added: “I could not support the proposal because I believe it to be anti-God.”

A recorded vote was taken on the proposal, with six members voting for, two against and the rest abstaining.

On one woman's word, they were convicted of witchcraft and 'causing phenomena' and he (and presumably one other) thinks there's a chance that they may have had a fair trial? :crazy:
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Re: Councillor opposes memorial for Islandmagee 'Witches'

#2  Postby Alan B » Mar 01, 2015 9:41 am

Alderman McKee? A curse on him, I say.


Well, if he gets upset about that, he's a fucking idiot and a gullible moron!
I have NO BELIEF in the existence of a God or gods. I do not have to offer evidence nor do I have to determine absence of evidence because I do not ASSERT that a God does or does not or gods do or do not exist.
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Re: Councillor opposes memorial for Islandmagee 'Witches'

#3  Postby monkeyboy » Mar 01, 2015 9:49 am

Surely since there is no such thing as a witch, they can be cleared of "bewitching" the complainant without too much hassle. Unless this Alderman fella has some evidence that witches actually exist(my mother in law just looks like one, I don't think she actually is though) I don't see how a conviction for witchcraft can be upheld at all.
Sure it was the law of the day etc and laws change, the moral zeitgeist shifts over time and we can't turn the history back on every conviction and judge every case through modern eyes...... but I'm all for overturning convictions based in total fucknuttery. To be asked about said fucknuttery and to support it in any way in this day and age with his decision based in superstitious waffling is surely evidence that this guy is mentally unfit to hold public office.
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