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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Anne to be laid to rest as man faces murder charge

By Emma Jane Hade

GRANDMOTHER and mother-of-three Anne Shortall, whose body was found in a Co Wicklow shed, will be laid to rest this morning.

Ms Shortall, who is understood to have suffered a violent death, will be buried in Rathnew after an 11am funeral service at St Joseph's Church in the town.

Family and friends gathered last night as she was reposed in the home of one of her seven brothers.

Yesterday tradesman Roy Webster (38), of Ashbre, Killloughter, Co Wicklow, appeared in court accused of murdering Ms Shortall on Good Friday.


The 47-year-old's body was discovered hidden under a tarpaulin in a shed on Tuesday afternoon. She was reported missing to the gardai by her family and friends on Easter Saturday.

The grim discovery of her remains was made a few miles outside Killoughter, close to Ashford, just days later.

There were emotional scenes outside Bray District Court as Mr Webster was led inside by three detectives shortly before 10am yesterday morning, as onlookers shouted abuse at the accused as he passed.

Mr Webster was dressed in a Leinster Rugby hoodie, navy tracksuit and beige leather shoes for the hearing. He remained silent throughout the proceedings.

Detective Sergeant Fergus O'Brien gave evidence and the court heard that Webster made no reply after he was charged and cautioned in Wicklow Garda Station at 10.15pm on Wednesday night.

Mr Webster is facing a single charge of murder and Judge David Kennedy granted a request from his solicitor, Dermot Hickey, that he will undergo a psychological evaluation while in prison.

He was remanded in custody until April 16. He is then set to appear before Cloverhill District Court. A statement of means was also submitted to the court yesterday morning.

Mr Webster was initially arrested in connection with the mother-of-three's death on Tuesday evening and was questioned by gardai in Wicklow Garda Station.

Ms Shortall is believed to have died from blunt force trauma to the head.

A post-mortem was carried out in St Columcille's Hospital but the results have not been released by gardai for operational reasons.


Investigating officers obtained CCTV footage from 13 different cameras in the area, close to where Ms Shortall was last seen alive at Leitrim Place in Wicklow town on Good Friday.

Two crimes scenes were sealed off as part of the investigation and a van was also seized by officers.

The deceased lived with her teenage daughter Alanna in Wicklow town. She also has two older children, Emma and David.

Hundreds of family members and friends attended a vigil in Wicklow town on Wednesday night, and a Chinese lantern and five red balloons were released into the sky.


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