Socialist Worker

Obituary: Teresa Elligott, 1956-2018

by Jeff Jackson and Katy Kierans Elligott
Issue No. 2613

Teresa Elligott

Teresa Elligott

It is with great sadness that we have to inform comrades of the tragic, premature death of Teresa Elligott.

Her weakened body finally succumbed to the crippling illness of anorexia last Wednesday.

Teresa was born one of six children in southern Ireland.

Like so many of her generation, she came to England in search of work and to escape the often oppressive life in Ireland at that time.

While never forgetting her Irish background, Teresa threw herself into the life of her adopted country, developing into a fiery and formidable young woman. As a member of the Nupe union at Camden council in north London, Teresa was involved in often long and bitter struggles to defend public services and jobs.

When Margaret Thatcher’s cutbacks began to erode working class living standards in the 1980s, Teresa developed into a working class militant and revolutionary socialist.


Falling prey to alcohol abuse, she had the strength of character to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and beat back the addiction. It allowed her to help raise her beloved daughter Katy.

For many years her cheerful, generous and warm character was at the heart of the Socialist Worker print shop at East End Offset.

And later she would become central to the distribution of the paper from its offices in Vauxhall.

Always outwardly gregarious, loyal and dedicated, like many militants she was nonetheless sometimes haunted by her own demons.

They developed into the fatal eating disorder that took her life.

However, we should not end with a sad part of Teresa’s life—she would scold us for doing so.

Let us instead remember Teresa as a “rare thing that was running wild ... we miss her more and more each day”.

Teresa’s funeral service is to take place 3.30pm, Friday 27 July at Islington Crematorium, 278 High Road, N2 9AG. Afterwards tea and sandwiches for all will be provided at the London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, NW1 9XB.

Article information

Tue 17 Jul 2018, 14:21 BST
Issue No. 2613
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