Community activist continued her work throughout illness

Tributes to Teresa

By Gemma Burns

Tribute has been paid to a Whitewell woman who played a crucial role in the development of her local area following her death through illness last week. Teresa Knowles was on the board of the Greencastle Community Empowerment Partnership, which later became the groundbreaking cross community group Greater Whitewell Community Surgery.

The 66-year old had been battling cancer for some time but had continued to carry out her voluntary work with the group.

The brave Catherine Court woman’s home was attacked a number of times by loyalists during heightened sectarian tensions in 2006. The pensioner confronted the masked mob who had entered Catherine Court with crossbows, hatchets and baseball bats and attacked homes.

She passed away peacefully in hospital last Wednesday (18 January).

Chairwoman of Greater Whitewell Community Surgery Geraldine O’Kane said Teresa’s death is a loss to the whole community.

“Teresa’s commitment to the community was unanswerable, even through her illness she was so supportive and dedicated to improving this whole community,” she said.

“She was on the board of directors of the CEP and the Community Surgery and was so dedicated and intent on making the Whitewell area a better place to live for both communities.”

The mother of three was well known in the area and worked for a time in a local shop. Geraldine said her death is a great personal loss to all her family and friends.

“She was just a great woman, so outgoing and friendly. It’s hard for us to adjust to her not being here,” she said.

“Even walking past her house that she always kept so well and her garden that she was so proud of will be hard.

“She will be really sadly missed by everyone. She was a great family woman and loved her children and grandchildren and was also very close to her nieces and nephews. I know it’s a big loss to them all.

“She’ll be sadly missed by everyone.

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