Sadness at passing of brave Teresa Flynn
Those close to cancer sufferer Teresa Flynn from Ballycumber, who died in the early hours of Wednesday morning last, are encouraging people to keep her memory alive by spreading the word about her charity CD "Grogan's Rose". The CD was launched last Sunday night in Ballycumber, just days before Teresa's death. Profits raised from it will go towards St James's and St Luke's hospitals in Dublin and Tullamore hospital oncology unit. Meanwhile throngs of family, friends and fans alike are expected to bid their final farewell to Teresa today (Friday) at her funeral Mass in St Manchan's church in Boher. Aged just 36, Teresa Flynn was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at Christmas time 2010. She never let the disease get her down however, and instead put all of her efforts into recording the CD she'd always dreamed of with help from family and friends including Simon Casey and Damien Dempsey. "To some extent, having cancer gives you a second change at life, and that's a gift," brave Teresa said on her website www.grogansrose.com. "You reassess priorities, family, friends, things you always planned to do but never found the time. "In many ways it is the soundtrack to my ordinary, everyday life, my legacy," she said of the resulting CD "Grogan's Rose". The charity CD was launched in Ballycumber just last Sunday night, September 30 with help from artists including Rosie Flanagan, Charlie McGettigan, Simon Casey and The Woodbines. Unfortunately Teresa was too ill to attend the launch, and died just days later. Speaking to the Offaly Independent Fr James McKiernan said Teresa passed away in the very early hours of Wednesday, October 3. Describing her Fr McKiernan said she was a very gifted person. "She had a tremendous voice and she used that voice for the enjoyment of so many others around," he said. In her lifetime Teresa sang regularly in church. "She always added greatly to the liturgies any time she sang," Fr McKiernan added. As well as possessing a real singing skill, Fr McKiernan said his former parishioner was "a great character". "She was an endearing person," he explained. "Everyone was her friend. She had a tremendous positivity about life." That positivity was never more evident than over the past 22 months of her life, he added. "She was continually positive about life when other people were somewhat down," he said, adding that this positivity was "infectious" and "gave great hope to her family and other people around". Tenacious too, Teresa was determined to see "Grogan's Rose" to fruition. "This was her ambition," Fr McKiernan said. "She really fought hard to get this album put together. She was very particular about it. She went back over bits to ensure it was the finest quality. She worked tirelessly throughout her illness." Together with the help of her friends who also worked tirelessly, Teresa's goal was reached when her long dreamed of album was launched last Sunday night. Musician Simon Casey was one of those friends, as well as a collaborator on the album. He marked his friend's death on Twitter last Wednesday afternoon. "RIP my good friend Teresa, a true inspiration to us all now and forever," he wrote. Meanwhile a message was posted on www.facebook.com/GrogansRose early on Wednesday. "Teresa's goal was to raise as much money as possible for her chosen charities through the sale of her CD. To honour her memory and wishes and to keep that beautiful voice alive, please spread the word about Grogan's Rose," it said. "Grogan's Rose" is available to buy via www.grogansrose.com or at local establishments including Gussie's, Egan's and Gavin's in Ballycumber, The Drycleaners in Ferbane and Kenny's and McManus's in Clara. Teresa reposes at her brother Joseph's residence in the townland of Grogan, Ballycumber until this morning (Friday), when she will be removed at 10.30am to St Manchan's church for 11am funeral Mass. Fr McKiernan said the service will include a lot of music as a celebration of Teresa's life. She will be buried after her funeral Mass in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only have been request, with donations if desired to the palliative care unit at Tullamore hospital. Teresa is mourned by father Paddy, sisters Catherine and Ann, brothers Patrick, Joseph and Peter and many extended family members and friends. She is pre-deceased by her mother Catherine and sister Helen.