Anne Joyce

Posted by Sue Leonard on Friday 4th November 2016

After leaving school, Anne moved to Dublin to train as a dressmaker; then she worked for a couple of designers.

“After that, I opened a business in Portarlington. I ran it for 14 years.”

Back problems forced Anne to give up dressmaking.

“Then my younger daughter was born. She was sick with a series of infections for five years. It was a stressful time.” 

Anne’s father died in 2008; shortly afterwards the family noticed that their mother was becoming forgetful. When it was clear she was suffering from Alzheimer’s, Anne started writing down her feelings.

“I am prone to anxiety, and my personal advisor, Shirley Connelly, said that writing would help,” says Anne. “She said I had a book in me. That gave me drive.”

The writing gave Anne confidence in herself; something she had always lacked. And it got her through all the dark times, making her see the positives.

“The writing came from my gut. I think of it as my mother’s gift to me.”

Who is Anne Joyce

Date of birth: 18th July 1964, Kilcooney. County Offaly

Education:  Technical school in Portarlington.

Home:  Tullamore

Family: Children Daron, 28, Sarah, 27 and Lailah, 11. And a dog called Ralph.

The Day Job: “I opened my dressmaking business again 25 weeks ago, mainly doing alterations.”

Interests: Playing the guitar, reading, and dancing.

Favourite Writers: “I like reading true stories and books about psychology.”

Second Novel: “I would like to write another book, but I don’t feel I can’t force it. I hope it will happen.”

Top Tip: “Be prepared to put time into writing, however busy your schedule is. Ten minutes is better than nothing.”



The Debut: A Reason to Love More – The Alzheimer’s Enigma. Three Sister Press: €14.64. 

When Nelly Joyce was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, her children rallied round, caring for their mother as best they could. This day to day account shows the practical problems the family faced, along with the emotions and challenges.

Anne stresses that the experience enabled them all to love both their mother, and each other in new ways. At time heart-breaking, the book shows there was laughter, along with the misery.

The Verdict: A valuable honest account that will help anyone affected by Alzheimer’s.


Published in The Irish Examiner on 29th October, 2016.

© Sue Leonard. 2016 

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