Burned as a Witch in Ireland in 1895

From Frazer’s Golden Bough:

In March 1895 a peasant named Michael Cleary, residing at Ballyvadlea, a remote and lonely district in the county of Tipperary, burned his wife Bridget Cleary alive over a slow fire on the kitchen hearth in the presence of and with the active assistance of some neighbours, including the woman’s own father and several of her cousins. They thought that she was not Bridget Cleary at all, but a witch, and that when they held her down on the fire she would vanish up the chimney; so they cried, while she was burning, “Away she goes! Away she goes!” Even when she lay quite dead on the kitchen floor (for contrary to the general expectation she did not disappear up the chimney), her husband still believed that the woman lying there was a witch, and that his own dear wife had gone with the fairies to the old rath or fort on the hill of Kylenagranagh, where he would see her at night riding a grey horse and roped to the saddle, and that he would cut the ropes, and that she would stay with him ever afterwards. So he went with some friends to the fort night after night, taking a big table-knife with him to cut the ropes. But he never saw his wife again. He and the men who had held the woman on the fire were arrested and tried at Clonmel for willful murder in July 1895; they were all found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to various terms of penal servitude and imprisonment; the sentence passed on Michael Cleary was twenty years’ penal servitude.


James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: Balder the Beautiful (The Fire Festivals of Europe and the Doctrine of the External Soul), vol. 1, 323-324