Town in shock after discovery of pregnant mother’s body

Residents in the Co Meath village of Dunboyne were described as “devastated” last night after a 35-year-old pregnant woman was found in the sea near Howth.

Anna Byrne, a nurse who was 38 weeks pregnant with twins, disappeared from her home at Beechdale on Wednesday morning. Her family was contacted when she failed to collect her son from creche.

Anna was a mother of two boys, one in primary school and the other attending a local childcare centre. She was married to Terry and the couple, originally from Dublin, had moved to Dunboyne about five years earlier. They were described by locals as “a couple who kept to themselves”.

Parish priest Fr Dermot Farrell said people “were just stunned at the tragedy, even those who had never met Anna”.

“It is just very sad.”

Fine Gael councillor Maria Murphy said Anna’s death was a “terrible tragedy that had everyone in the village upset”.

“We just wish that Terry and the boys will be allowed space to grieve. Nobody can imagine how devastated they are.

“We don’t know the full story behind Anna’s death, but there are a lot of people under a lot of pressure out there and with kids so young and another two on the way, it’s not always easy for people,” she said.

On Wednesday night, Anna’s brother, Ciaran Deeney had described his sister as “highly hormonal” due to her pregnancy.

Mr Deeney organised a search of the Dún Laoighaire area early on Thursday morning as a signal from her mobile phone had been detected by gardaí in the south Co Dublin town.

However, in the end her body was found at the other end of the county.

At first light yesterday, gardaí spotted her body in the sea off Howth in north Co Dublin.

There was nobody at the Byrne house yesterday afternoon, with Terry and the boys believed to be in Dublin with family.

Neighbours yesterday described Anna as a “very private person”.

“Our sympathy goes out to her husband and children. The community is devastated,” one man said.


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