A LAWYER who has a passion for singing has released a song about one of the darkest episodes in Scottish legal history.

The debut single from Sharon Collins, who grew up in Neilston but now lives in Barrhead, focuses on the infamous Renfrewshire witch trials of 1697.

Six people were executed at Gallow Green, in Paisley, and another committed suicide after all seven – dubbed The Bargarran Witches – were found guilty of practising black magic.

Their trial had been triggered by the alleged possession of an 11-year-old girl, Christian Shaw, who was the daughter of the wealthy Laird of Bargarran.

The victims’ ashes were buried at the intersection of Maxwellton Street and George Street and later covered by a horseshoe that is said to seal a hex cast upon the town.

Sharon, a former pupil at St Luke’s High School, in Barrhead, has been a lawyer for 14 years and hopes the importance of shining a light on injustice comes through in her song, titled The Witches of Bargarren.

She said: “I remember watching a play on the witches and I felt it was just awful what happened.

“It’s quite unbelievable by today’s standards that something like that could happen based on such conjecture.”

Sharon paid her way through her legal studies by singing at local clubs but is now seizing the chance to create her own music for the first time after linking up with multi-instrumentalist Mario D’Agostino to form a duo.

Their band – The O’Cuilleans – is committed to telling Scottish tales, such as the witch trials, with a distinct Scottish lowland vocal.

They have also collaborated with a powerhouse of Irish and Scottish musicians, including Jar Henderson, Cormac Byrne and Roo Geddes, to create an EP, which is out next month, and a forthcoming album.

“I’ve done a lot of singing doing covers but there has always been that wee thing gnawing away inside me about writing my own stuff,” said Sharon.

“I lost my mum last April and it’s sad that she isn’t getting to see this, as she was always telling me to do it, but I’m really enjoying the process.”

By chance, Sharon discovered that Claire Maddison Mitchell QC is running a campaign for the witches of Scotland to be pardoned and is creating a TV documentary that will feature the story of The Bargarran Witches.

Claire was so impressed with Sharon’s song that she forwarded it to her producer and there are now plans for it to be used as the theme tune for the documentary.

The catchy folk track has also caught the attention of award-winning American director Julia Campanelli, who has written a movie script about the Bargarran trials, with production due to start later this year.

“We are in talks to see if she can use the song for that as well,” said Sharon, who composed the tune after researching the event at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library.

“We do know she is interested in it, so we have our fingers crossed.”

Sharon even risked life and limb by dashing out to the spot on the four-way intersection where the horseshoe lies to film scenes for a video to accompany her song.

The video was predominantly shot in freezing temperatures at Paisley’s historic Anchor Mill.

Sharon said: “We chose that as the location because Christian Shaw went on to become one of Scotland’s first female industrialists to open a mill.”

To listen to the song, visit youtube.com/watch?v=zd4GjX8lQFw.