Full Particulars of the Trial & Committal of Mary Doheny, The Carrick-on-Suir Witch!!
[John F. Nugent & Co., Steam-Machine Printers, Dublin].
Broadside poster [distressed at left of sheet] relating to the trial of Mary Doheny. She was brought to Carrick-on-Suir [Co. Tipperary] Petty Sessions, in 1864 on a charge of obtaining money under false pretences from Sub-Constable Joseph Reeves. The Crown alleged that, over the course of four months, Mary Doheny had taken food from townspeople on false pretences - "that they were for the support of deceased relatives of the contributors, who were recently restored to life or sufficiently so to need food". Townsfolk believed that several ‘dead’ family members came back to life and Mary Doheny claimed that by bringing food to the dead she could sustain these individuals and then return them to the world of the living. A Sergeant Joseph Reeves swore in court that he sent bread, butter and tea to his dead father-in-law, William Mullins via Mary Doheny and that while in Mary Doheny’s presence he actually saw William Mullins. The case against Doheny was proved in Carrick-on-Suir Petty Sessions and referred to Clonmel Quarter Sessions where in October 1864 Doheny was found guilty and sent to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour. See ‘Witchcraft and magic in Ireland’ by Andrew Sneddon [Palgrave historical studies in witchcraft and magic, 2015]. Broadside features at top of sheet three very crude woodcut images, somewhat incongruous and unrelated to the text printed underneath them - the first woodcut has 'Sergeant Reeves' printed underneath it but is an woodcut of two men, both wearing medieval style clothing - the man in the foreground has his back to the viewer, holding a sword in one hand and a bow in the other; the second woodcut has 'Mary Doheny' printed underneath it but is a woodcut of an angry man, shown with his fists aloft, screaming while the third woodcut that has 'William Mullins' printed underneath it depicts a sombre man, resting his chin on his right hand. At lower right of sheet a small crude woodcut of a woman on a balcony who is handing down a skeleton - that is dressed in women's clothing - to a young man, who is about to ascend a ladder up to the balcony; in the background, at a nearby quayside, a man waits in a boat.
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Dublin : Printed by John F. Nugent & Co., Steam-Machine Printers, 35, New-Row, West, [n.d., ca. 1864].
This item is held in the Department of Ephemera.
Physical description: 1 broadside sheet ; ills., 59.5 x 43.7cm.
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Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.