Alannah is laid to rest in Redford
OVER 100 PEOPLE ATTEND CEREMONY FOR TINY TOT IN GREYSTONES
BABY Alannah was laid to rest in Greystones last Friday afternoon, over a week since her remains were found in Bray.
Over 100 mourners attended the ecumenical ceremony which was led by Monsignor Enda Lloyd and Rev Alan Breen.
The baby’s remains were found by workers at Greenstar recycling centre at Fassaroe on the morning of Wednesday, May 4. A number of employees of the facility attended the burial.
A single white dove was released following prayers at Alannah’s grave.
IN a simple ceremony that lasted less than 10 minutes, more than 100 people gathered at Redford cemetery in Greystones to say farewell to Baby Alannah last Friday.
They stood quietly in the sunlight, ensuring that the infant would not be laid to rest with out someone to bear witness to the fact that she had lived, if only for a short time.
Throughout the weekend, many more people made their way to her grave to leave a token and say a prayer.
‘In the face of death, all human wisdom fails,’ Monsignor Enda Lloyd of the Holy Redeemer in Bray told the people gathered at the grave side.
He was joined in prayer by Reverend Alan Breen of St Patrick’s Church in Greystones.
‘Even in our great sorrow at the loss of this child, our baby Alannah, we believe that she surely does wake eternally.’
Several times he called her ‘ours’ and there was a feeling among those present that, in the absence of a mother and father, she belongs to the community.
For those listening around the country, and for the baby’s people, Fr Lloyd prayed that ‘ those weighed down by grief at the loss of our little Alannah, may find reassurance in God’s infinite goodness.’
The baby’s remains were found at the Greenstar recycling facility in Bray nine days prior to her burial, on Wednesday, May 4. Members of Greenstar’s staff were among the mourners present in Greystones last Friday at midday.
Beside them, members of the public stood united in grief for the unknown baby girl. ‘It’s just so very sad,’ said one woman.
Garda Declan Lynch and Sergeant Sorcha Fitzpatrick carefully carried the white casket from the hearse to her final resting place.
Some children came along with their parents and placed toys and flowers on Alannah’s grave, trying to make sense of such tragedy. Others delivered gifts to Murphy’s Funeral Directors in Bray, to be brought to Redford.
People wept openly while the two ministers said prayers for the little girl.
Members of An Garda Síochana joined others at the ceremony, foregoing uniform for civilian dress as they said a personal goodbye.
They arranged the ceremony, with undertakers, florists, clergy and others generously offering their services to play a part in ensuring Alannah, our ‘dearest child’ had a final resting place and fitting burial.
Four visibly stricken members of the Greenstar workforce had the burden of lowering Alannah’s tiny coffin into the plot, before a single white dove was released and flew overhead.
After the ceremony, Superintendent Pat Ward said that the investigation will remain open until it can be brought to its furthest conclusion. ‘We are going to keep investigating until we can get to the truth of it,’ he said. ‘ The priority is for mum, to make sure she is okay.’
Supt Ward said that there are no leads at this time which may identify Alannah’s mother. ‘ To get to the bottom of the mystery, mum will solve that if she does come forward. Irrespective of that, we will continue our enquiries, purely from the point of view of getting to the truth of the matter.’
He said that the mother has nothing to fear from him.
‘I think she can be assured that all arms of the administration of justice whether it be the gardaí, the courts, the child and family agency, everybody involved will look at this compassionately. I don’t think she has anything to fear. I can’t speak for all arms of the justice system but certainly from our point of view she has nothing to fear from me. She can contact me directly and I’ll handle the matter as sensitively as I can.
‘I am very grateful to Reverend Breen and Monsignor Lloyd for conducting the ceremony,’ said Supt Ward. He agreed that it was moving to see so many come to the burial. ‘In all honesty I expected maybe a dozen people to be here today. I think it’s great that the local community did come. Apart from those who turned out, there were a lot of other people who contributed to the ceremony.’
Bray Garda Station can be contacted on (01) 66653300. The garda confidential line is 1800 666 111.
A helpline for the child and family agency has been set up and can be reached on (076) 6958400.
The baby girl’s final journey.
Gardaí carry the tiny coffin from the hearse at Redford Cemetery.
HOME: Flowers and teddies left on baby Alannah’s grave. LEFT: Mark Kinsella of Thomas Murphy and Sons undertakers releases a dove.