Lives Remembered

Jean Faulkner: Nonagenerian who became public face of campaign to save care homes

Jean Faulkner with then health minister Edwin Poots at Westland Care Home in Cookstown. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

JEAN Faulkner found herself at the centre of media attention at the age of 92 when she became the public face of a campaign to save a Co Tyrone care home.

The Cookstown woman spoke out emotionally after it emerged that Westlands residential home in the town had been earmarked for closure.

She told of the distress caused to elderly residents, saying: “This is my home, my family, I need it and I don't want to leave.”

Her words had a powerful impact and played a large part in forcing a u-turn on plans to shut a series of homes across the north.

Almost a year after Jean had met health minister Edwin Poots to make her case, the DUP politician returned to deliver the good news in person.

The retired shopkeeper said: “I couldn't believe it. We thought when he came back to the home, he was here to give us bad news, but it is safe. It turned out perfect. I can't get over it.”

Jean Faulkner died on November 26 at Westlands home where she had happily lived out her final years.

Formerly of William Street, Cookstown, a daughter of the late George and Minnie and sister of the late John, she was in her 98th year.

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Lives Remembered