1Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 31.
According to one email response to this web posting, Zucchelli's number (300,000) for the amount of executions resulting from three centuries of witch trials would be considered excessive by most researchers in this arena. "Most common estimates are between 40,000 and 60,000 deaths. Brian Levack (The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe) multiplied the number of known European witch trials by the average rate of conviction and execution, to arrive at a figure of around 60,000 deaths. Anne Lewellyn Barstow (Witchcraze) adjusted Levack's estimate to account for lost records, estimating 100,000 deaths. Ronald Hutton (Triumph of the Moon) argues that Levack's estimate had already been adjusted for these, and revises the figure to approximately 40,000."

2Wood-Martin, W.G. Pagan Ireland. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895. 259-60.

3Aubrey, John, and John Fowles. Monumenta Britannica: Or, A Miscellany of British Antiquities. Vol. 2. Sherborne: Dorset Pub., 1980 (1693). 827.
According to Carleton Jones, "[Aubrey's] broad interests...combined with an unwillingness to specialise in any one field of study, seem to have prevented most of his works from being published in his lifetime. Indeed, his major work on archaeology, Monumenta Britanica, is available to us today only after what must be one of the longest time spans between the writing of a manuscript and its publication. Aubrey finished the manuscript in 1693 but it was not until 1980, nearly 300 years later, that it was finally published!" (Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 2-3.)
Aubrey's 1693 manuscript describes the Labbacallee tomb: "In the county of Cork in the [district] of Fermoy, is this ancient monument which is as much to say, the Hag's Bed and colle, hag. The form whereof ... " 'Colle' is in fact the Irish caile, or country-woman, a word better conveyed in the present name; compare cailin, country-girl, and 'colleen'...In Ireland [cut in manuscript] province of Munster in the barony of [ . . .. ] monument called Labe-colle, which [ .... ] bed. Labe signifyng a bed, [ . . . . ] whereof is thus [sketched].
The cover of this monument is about 24 foot long, and 40 foot broad, six foot deep, is sharp in the middle of the back like a coffin, and not much unlike it in proportion. The stones that support it are a kind of great slates or planks, about four foot and a half high, and four foot broad, and stand very close together unless at the entrance at 'A '. The stones that encircle this monument are broad and flat. The going into this place is something descending, no opening but at 'A '; opposite to which is another stone about seven foot high; and another stone about a quarter of a mile hence at the ford, which the hag, they say, threw at the fellow that came to lie with her." A margin note adds that the sketch comes from a Mr. Gethyng [Gethings], "who lives near it"; and that Robert Southwell has another copy.

4Leask, H.G., Liam Price, C.P. Martin, and K.C. Bailey. "The Labbacallee Megalith, Co. Cork." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 43 (1936).

5Brindley, A.L., J.N. Lanting, and W.G. Mook. "Radiocarbon Dates from Moneen and Labbacallee, County Cork." The Journal of Irish Archaeology 4 (1987/1988): 13-20.
Stone #75, pushed aside to gain entry, probably in the Iron Age, may be noted in the diagram found in the gallery at the bottom of the page. The triple-walled sides of the Labbacallee tomb are unusual; this feature may indicate the importance of those interred here. The excavators felt that some of the architectural features of the tomb had similarities to such monuments in the Paris region, perhaps suggesting a communication, or even a tribal affiliation between Munster and the north of France. (Leask, H.G., Liam Price, C.P. Martin, and K.C. Bailey. "The Labbacallee Megalith, Co. Cork." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 43 (1936): 94.)

6Leask 78-80.
The excavators, after clearing the debris from the tomb, some of which had supported one of the broken capstones, found it necessary to construct a supporting pillar of stones and mortar. This may be noted in the interior view of the virtual-reality environment.

7Leask 78-80.
Carleton Jones speculates that some orthostats at the eastern end of the monument may have been intended as a "sort of false facade." (Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 240-44.)

8Leask 83.
The authors report on similar Irish tombs with port holes: "The dolmen in Burren Townland, Co. Cavan, has a partition slab between its two chambers with a port-hole in the bottom edge and, in the Deerpark townland dolmen, Co. Clare, the eastern partition stone has two port-holes: one in the side of the stone and the other at one of the upper corners. The Labbacallee port-hole, at the top northern corner of stone 60- if indeed, it be a port-hole at all, which is by no means certain-bears some resemblance to the Deerpark example."

9Leask 88-89.
The authors concluded that the tomb had not been disturbed since the date of its completion.

10Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 243.
An older text suggests that "reddening skin, which would retain for hours an indentation upon it" was known as "the Seat of the Devil." (Bonwick, James. Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions. London: Griffith, Farran & Co., 1894. 84.)

11Murray, Margaret A. The Witch-Cult in Western Europe. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1921. 20-21.
The author believed that the witches who were tried in the 16th and 17th centuries were the inheritors of the pagan religions extant before Christianity. ""The witch-cult being a survival of an ancient religion, many of the beliefs and rites of these early religions are to be found in it."
However Aubrey Burl wrote that "The fancies of the late Margaret Murray need not detain us. They were justly, if irritably, dismissed by a real scholar as 'vapid balderdash." Burl was there quoting Hugh Trevor-Roper, The European Witch-craze of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.(Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976. 85.) It is probably safe to say that witchcraft preserved some pre-Christian beliefs and practices (although transformed and mutated by the centuries of transmission).

12Leask 95-96.
The goddesses of pre-Christian Ireland were often re-cast as "hags" after the arrival of the new religion. According to one interpretation of prehistory, stories of the conflict between the Cailleach BhÊarra and her husband may reflect the spiritual beliefs of that transitional period when the myths of the Bronze Age warrior began to diminish the hegemony of the Neolithic earth goddess. (Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 21.)

13Croker, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Vol. 3. London: John Murray, 1834. 275-78.
This story may be read in its entirety here.

14Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland: Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, (...). Vol. 2. London: Chapman & Hall, 1897. 553-54.
Quoting a 1660 text by John Picardt, Borlase writes: "also dolmen- mounds, the hollow vaults in the centres of which were, he tells us, 'according to the general belief, inhabited by White Women, and the memory of some of their deeds was,' he adds, 'still fresh in the minds of many old people.' The natives all agreed in saying that round about these mounds a great deal of witchery had of old been practised, and that mournful cries have been heard in them. Also, that these witches used to be fetched by night and day by women in childbirth, and that they could afford them help when all else had failed. They told fortunes, too, and could indicate the whereabouts of stolen property. Some of the inhabitants said that they had themselves been inside these mounds, and seen and heard incredible things, but that they had promised not to tell them. They (the witches) were swifter than any creature. They always dressed in white, by reason of which they were called Wiite Wyven, or simply DeWitter. 'A large number of mounds,' it is added, 'were called Witten for this same reason, although their colour might be black.'" Borlase also wrote of a woman who lived iin another Co. Cork monument, called "Carrick Cliona." Cliona was known as a "loose woman," who was in the habit of attending the market fairs in the area and enticing off any young man who might please her. The moral people of the area tried to drive her out by cultivating her ground with potatoes but Cliona was heard in her mound "piteously wailing" at the desecration. The people then desisted. (v. III, 832-33).

15Grinsell, L.V. "Witchcraft at some Prehistoric Sites." in The Witch Figure, Venetia Newall, ed. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978. 73-77.
The author cites some examples from France: ""Some of the prehistoric monuments betray their popular association with the witch cult by their names, such as a menhir at Vaumort (Yonne) called La Pierre du Sabbat or La Pierre aux Sorciers...a dolmen in the province of Nord called La Cuisine des Sorciers where witches are said to have prepared their love potions; a barrow at Wallonie known as Le Lieu du Sabbat where witches are said to have held their sabbats."

The poem "Lament of the Old Woman of Beare" is discussed within our entry on the Loughcrew Passage Tombs.

17Holinshed, Raphael, William Harrison, Richard Stanyhurst, John Hooker, Francis Thynne, Abraham Fleming, John Stow, and Henry Ellis. Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Vol. VI: Ireland. London: J. Johnson, 1807. 252.
This section may be read in its entirely here.
William Butler Yeats' poem "Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen" refers to the burning of Dame Kyteler:
"There lurches past, his great eyes without thought
Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,
That insolent fiend Robert Artisson
To whom the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought
Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks."

18This story is recounted at the sign at the Labbacallee site. Our essay on Co. Donegal's Cloghanmore Court Tomb explores in more detail the legends of gold buried at prehistoric sites.