Ireland – Ann Lovett: Death of a ‘strong, kick-ass girl’

Ann Lovett: Death of a ‘strong, kick-ass girl’
Ann Lovett died aged 15 after giving birth at a grotto in Granard, Co Longford in 1984. Had she lived, she would turn 50 next month

Sat, Mar 24, 2018
Rosita Boland

“I remember being outside the church when the hearse arrived . . . I remember when they were taking the coffin out of the hearse, there was a collective gasp . . . Usually at a removal, you’d hear a mumble of people talking. But apart from that gasp, there was silence. What could anyone say?”

Nuala Ledwith, who lived three miles outside Granard, Co Longford, at the time, is talking about the removal of Ann Lovett and her stillborn son to St Mary’s Church in Granard on Thursday, February 2nd, 1984. Two days previously, Ann Lovett had died after giving birth in the grotto adjoining St Mary’s. She was 15. The repercussions of her death continue to resonate powerfully in Irish society, more than three decades later.