Today the world of Animal Welfare lost a Founding Mother written by Gina Hetherington
Today, the world lost one of the most amazing human beings ever created.
The world and more importantly, the world of Animal Welfare in Ireland lost a founding Mother .
Yes, she drove us crazy sometimes with ‘tough love,’ but dare anyone hurt her cubs and the full weight of her strength came to the surface.
Tough, tender, strong, infuriating, beautiful, generous to the extreme and an amazing, crazy mother whose late brother called her ‘The Templeogue Terror’. She did not tolerate fools gladly and she could shoot straight from the hip, but her passion for her family, friends and animals was steadfast.
She worked hard all her life. I remember, when I was a child, she made washing up liquid in giant drums inside our garage. She bottled & labelled it as ‘Squez’ and sold it to HB Dairies, pubs, hotels, supermarkets et al. Then, when ‘Squeezy’ washing up liquid hit the Irish market, she insisted they pay for the rights to use ‘Her’ product. She imported the first cigarette vending machines from the UK and sold them door to door to pubs and clubs. We would arrive home from school on a Friday, only to be bundled into the car and across on the ferry to London to buy two of three machines. She would bring them back on the roof rack (Oh, the hilarious memories) to sell them in Dublin. Then came the first ever microwave to Ireland…. that was freaky!
But dogs were her passion and in her 64th year, 11 years after battling and beating breast cancer, she founded PAWS Animal Rescue. She begged, borrowed and lobbied to get what was needed to save the dogs, especially her beloved greyhounds.
Politicians, Bank Managers, IGB, County Councils and others could never say, no, to this formidable lady. Some did, admittedly, say, ‘Oh Lord’ when her number came up on their phone but eventually she swayed them with her charm, knowledge and sheer forcefulness.
But, she taught me to be strong, stubborn and driven. I am very, very proud to say that Deirdre Hetherington was my mother. She will be greatly missed by those whose lives she touched. Love You Mum Xx