Bunnahowna, Mulranny, Co Mayo
Theresa died peacefully in her own home on Sunday, March 21, 2021, surrounded by her family and friends, including her son Thomas who just made it back from London. It was a mark of the type of woman she was that she held on for her son’s return.
Theresa was born in Dooega, Achill, on December 6, 1939. At a young age Theresa emigrated with her family to Scotland and then to Reading, England. Wherever she was employed she was very highly thought of because of her work ethic which she maintained throughout her whole life.
She met her husband, Michael Joe, in ‘The Galtymore’ (where else), and so started their life together of ups and downs, tribulations and triumphs, happiness and sadness, arguments won and lost – mostly lost by Michael Joe – but through it all their love for each other grew all the more.
When their daughter Ann Marie came along they were introduced to a new world of selfless people who gave of themselves to helping others. Theresa threw herself wholeheartedly into this work by raising funds for the special school and together with others managed to provide a swimming pool for the children of that school. She was very proud of her son Thomas’s scholarly achievements and of his professional duties as a structural engineer.
Her culinary skills came to the fore when without fuss or bother she catered for anything up to 10 lodgers in the B&B that she ran in Kilburn so much so that a place in her home was very much sought after.
On returning to Ireland after nigh on 30 years away she very soon settled into her new home in Mulranny, the place of her husband’s birth. Her genial smile won over all the people she met and once again her cookery skills were known far and wide. Her scones were to die for. She welcomed everybody to her home and soon it was known as the halfway house between Castlebar and Achill, so much so that Michael Joe had difficulty chasing them away.
Her involvement with the ‘Witches Brooms’ for St Brendan’s came about almost by accident. She was already involved with St Brendan’s through her voluntary work for the Mulranny Day Care Centre when ‘The Brooms’ were first muted. It was found that she was the only person, by the dexterity of her hands and fingers, capable of putting them together. And so come every February she would start making thousands of brooms to be ready for Halloween. Even a crew from RTÉ 1 came to film her doing her work. As always she took it in her stride.
Despite ill health that troubled her most of her life, especially in the later years, she carried it without complaint. She loved her home and was continuously cleaning or painting it, both inside and out. It annoyed her when she couldn’t reach to paint the apex of the gable but Michael Joe suggested that she should go to the top of the ladder and shame him altogether. Luckily she had a good sense of humour to put up with him.
Theresa will be sadly missed by her husband Michael Joe, daughter Ann Marie, son Thomas, daughter-in-law Imke and her three lovely grandchildren, Emma, Ronan and Lorcan, whom she doted on; sister Kathleen and brother-in-law Tommie, Leixlip; sister-in-law Joan, Newcastle; nephews and nieces, too many to mention but who loved her dearly.
May this loving gentle person rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.