Following the loss of their daughter Ellie in October of last year, Rodney and Fiona Stewart Clancy have found solace at her grave in St Mary's Cemetery in Tagoat.
Ellie was just 15 when she passed away, a lifelong battle against illness coming to a heartbreaking conclusion just as she reached the cusp of adulthood.
Since her passing, Rodney and Fiona have made an almost daily vigil to her grave, adorning it with mementoes, flowers, ornaments, items designed to preserve her memory as best they can. However, when they visited the grave on Saturday evening last they discovered that everything had been taken; all the flowers, all the carefully chosen tributes, even the handmade wicker basket Fiona had crafted herself.
'It first happened two weeks ago, in that instance there was just a flower pot stolen,' explained Lauren, daughter of Rodney and Fiona. 'But when my mam and dad went down on Saturday night the whole grave had just been wiped out, they'd taken a load of stuff, taken everything.'
To make matters worse, this senseless crime has occurred at a particularly difficult time for the family.
'Ellie would have been 16 tomorrow,' said Lauren. 'My parents are just devastated. My mam had handmade a wicker basket, that was taken, along with a basket of flowers, two wreaths, and an ornament of an angel.
'They went around the graveyard to see if the stolen items had been put on any other graves but there was no sign of them, we can only think that people are taking the stuff and then selling it.
'One other grave had stuff taken too, a woman whose mother had only died three weeks ago. It's brutal for someone to do this.'
Discussing her sister, Lauren says that although Ellie endured many a tough battle throughout her life she always did so with a smile, refusing to let her health problems define her.
'She had a tough battle throughout her life, she had a terminal illness. In 2017, she was in intensive care and we almost lost her but she pulled through on that occasion. She was a real fighter.
'But she passed suddenly last year. It's a huge loss for the family. Ellie had a great community around her, she went to school in Enniscorthy and had a full life. She was always smiling no matter matter life threw at her.'
Struggling to understand how someone could steal from the grave of a child, Lauren said that all the family want is to have the items returned to Ellie's grave.
'She had so much respect in her life and we thought she would be given the same respect afterwards. I mean, who would steal from a child's grave?
'At first we thought maybe the people in question didn't realise it was a child's grave but the grave has a white cross on it to signify Ellie's age. We don't want any hardship we just want the items back.
'This is a tough week as it is without this happening. My dad is very religious and the grave is all he has, all we want to do is to be able to bring a gift to Ellie without worrying about it being stolen.'
Anyone who may have witnessed the theft or who has information regarding this crime is advised to contact Wexford Garda Station at 053 916 5200.