Upcoming Roscommon play recalls tragic Granard tale

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson



Roscommon play

One woman show Mary and Me comes to the Roscommon Arts Centre this weekend

Irene Kelleher’s self-penned one-woman show, Mary and Me, comes to Roscommon Arts Centre on Saturday, April 27 at 8pm.

The play is about a teenage girl, Hannah, who is mastering the art of being invisible as she goes through a pregnancy without being able to confide in anyone.

This is small town Ireland in 1986. The play is inspired by the Ann Lovett tragedy in 1984 when a 15-year-old girl gave birth alone at a grotto in Granard, County Longford, and died, along with her infant.

Hannah, played by Kelleher, is feisty, giddy, irreverent and fed up with Guinness, the GAA and Glenroe. There has to be more to life, she says.

She finds solace at a grotto where she talks to the Virgin Mary and to a small statue looking up imploringly at the mother of Jesus. This is St Bernadette but Hannah thinks it’s Mary Magdalene who was “married to Jesus”.

She fears that she would be shunned by her community for being pregnant, she declares that she wants to soar and fly high in the clouds. But is that possible for this spirited girl who has transgressed?

The play follows the life of Hannah in the months before she gives birth, the everyday happenings in her life; her maths tests, art projects and relationships with boys and family.

It is an original and unique imagining of the girl at the centre of a tragic event that shocked the nation.

Tickets on sale now from box office on 090 66 25824 and from www.roscommonartscentre.ie