According to Reginald Scot in his The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I an epidemic causing blindness afflicted the cattle of Ireland. This malevolence was attributed to witches, who were called eye-biters, and some of them were executed.
Scot, Reginald. The Discoverie of Witchcraft. 1584. Reprint, New York: Dover Publications, 1972.