Thursday 20 July 2017

Mothers of adopted babies face a new trauma if the cloak of invisibility is suddenly torn away

The headstone of Ann Lovett, in Granard, Co Longford
The headstone of Ann Lovett, in Granard, Co Longford

Irish people have a knack for pretending. But let us have no charade it was only in the remote past that Ireland was a cold house for pregnant girls without a ring on their fingers.

As recently as the 1980s, this was no country for unmarried mothers. Remember the Ann Lovett case? Even now, it is impossible to read her story without wincing – both for the tragic schoolgirl, and for the society from which she sprang.

In 1984, a terrified 15-year-old named Ann Lovett gave birth alone, outdoors, by a grotto in honour of the Virgin Mary. She made her way from her school in Granard, Co Longford, to the grotto, and on a wet winter's day there had a baby son, who died.

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