herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Five days of hoping ends in devastation for shocked family

Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy at the scene that the body of missing Wicklow woman Anne Shortall was discovered in Kiloughter County Wicklow.
Pic:Mark Condren
7.4.2015
Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy at the scene that the body of missing Wicklow woman Anne Shortall was discovered in Kiloughter County Wicklow. Pic:Mark Condren 7.4.2015

FIVE days of searching, five days of hope, were ultimately in vain for the family of Anne Shortall.

A sombre air fell over Wicklow Town as the news broke that the grandmother and mum-of-three’s body had been found a few miles away in a shed near Ashford.

Loved ones and volunteers had spent days scouring the countryside and coast for the missing 47-year-old following her disappearance on Friday.

She suffered a horrifically violent death, taking several blows to the head with a hammer.

For Anne Shortall’s family the grief is overwhelming. Her brother-in-law John McCabe, who led the search for the much-loved grandmother, said they are “devastated”.

Mr McCabe said that the  huge turnout for the search effort was a testament to the type of person she was.

He said the family need time to “come to terms” with the tragedy and that they would make a statement to the press in the coming days.

Ms Shorthall lived with her daughter Alanna in an apartment in the South Quay area of Wicklow Town.

She was originally from Rathnew, just a short distance from where her body was found. Locals remembered her fondly for her great wit and charm.

“She loved to socialise and was a great laugh. She was a lovely, lovely girl,” said a neighbour.

Ms Shortall, nee Doyle, separated from her husband, Colin, a number of years ago.

They had three children together: Emma, Alanna, and David, who was said to be away when he received the news. 

Cllr Irene Winters said last night that the incident has shocked the town.

“It’s a terrible thing to think that she was lying there for three or four days while her family were left wondering,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with the family.”

hnews@herald.ie

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