Wednesday 4 September 2013

PRONI witchcraft conference for Halloween

From PRONI ( in Belfast:

31st October 2013
To mark the publication of Dr Andrew Sneddon’s new book Possessed by the Devil: The Real History of the Islandmagee Witches & Ireland's Only Witchcraft Mass Trial (History Press Ireland, 2013) PRONI will be hosting an evening conference looking at various aspects of belief in the supernatural in Ireland before the Twentieth Century.

5.30 to 6.00 pm Refreshments

6.00 to 7.30 pm Conference

Cara Hanley (University of Ulster) ‘Portrayals of Witchcraft, Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern Imagery’

John Fulton (University of Ulster) ‘Mary Butters: the Carnmoney Witch, 1807-8’

Jodie Shevlin (University of Ulster) ‘Demonic Possession, Exorcism and the Roman Catholic Clergy in the Pre-famine Period’

Andrew Sneddon (University of Ulster) ‘Writing the History of Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland’

A history lecturer at the University of Ulster, Dr Andrew Sneddon’s first book, Witchcraft and Whigs: the Life of Bishop Francis Hutchinson, 1660-1739, was published in 2008, while, Possessed by the Devil: The History of the Islandmagee Witches & Ireland's Only Witchcraft Mass Trial was published in 2013 by the History Press. He is currently writing a book for Palgrave Macmillan on Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland over the last 400 years.

John Fulton (University of Ulster) is currently pursuing a PhD in history with a thesis exploring attitudes to the supernatural in Enlightenment Ireland.

Cara Hanley’s (University of Ulster) doctoral research explores the cultural representations of witchcraft in eighteenth and nineteenth century England.

Jodie Shevlin (University of Ulster) is undertaking a PhD exploring popular and elite attitudes to ghosts, fairies and demonic possession within nineteenth-century, Irish Catholicism.

Please contact PRONI at to book your place.
WHEN: 31st October 2013
HOW MUCH?: Admission is FREE but booking is essential

COMMENT: I would love to go to this - I have recently found that I have family from Islandmagee and have only recently been chasing up on the peninsula's history  (I've ordered a history book about the area 2 days ago!).     Not sure what this is in my throat that is making me *cough* just now, ahem *cough* sorry about this folks, possibly a fur ball... **PRONI's YouTube channel**... ahem... ahh, cleared it now! There are so many good events happening these days, it would be good to try to get a few more of them back onto PRONI's YouTube again for those who are slightly geographically challenged like myself!!! (End of hint/plea!)

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon!)


My wife Claire is planning to swim from the Scottish island of Cumbrae to the town of Largs on September 14th to raise money for local charity Gillian's Saltire Appeal, providing respite for families affected by cancer (Claire's mum and sister in Ireland have previously come through cancer, whilst my mum, based in England, currently has bladder cancer). Her Just Giving sponsorship page, with further details, is at If you can help to sponsor her, even by a wee amount, we'd be very grateful - many thanks!

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