Remembering Anne Lovett

On the 31st of January this year, thirty years will have passed since a 15-year-old girl called Anne Lovett was found semi-conscious, bleeding and suffering from exposure in a Grotto to the Virgin Mary in the small town of Granard in County Longford.

The body of her baby son, to whom she had given birth some hours previously, lay lifeless beside her. She died later that day in hospital in Mullingar.

I would have been three years older than Anne Lovett at that time. I know from many that are around the same age as me, that the death of Anne Lovett and her son is a memory seared in our consciousness.

We didn’t know her, we have no picture of her, but I do know, we mourned. The circumstances of Anne Lovett’s death and the death of her baby son which dominated national headlines in the first weeks of February 1984, brought me and many others to a more human perspective and place.

At that time I did have some experience of death. Grandparents passing would have been a vague and misty recollection, but within the natural order of life.

The tragic death of my first cousin was my first real and vivid experience of mourning and loss.

But for the last thirty years I and many others remember each January, the death of this young woman and her child, whom we never knew, and know very little about now, except her tragic death. I have made only one resolution this new year. I will locate and reflect beside the grave of Anne Lovett and her baby son.

Brian Meaney

Ennis

Co Clare

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