Volume 79, Number 01 | June 10 - 16, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Villager file photo

Bridgetta Sweeney and Sean Sweeney sharing a laugh in 2000.

Bridgetta Sweeney, 91, mother of head of Soho Alliance, D.I.D.

By Albert Amateau

Bridgetta Sweeney, the mother of Sean Sweeney, executive director of the Soho Alliance and a member of Community Board 2, died June 1 of complications of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 91.

She was born Dec. 19, 1917, in a section of Glasgow, Scotland, known as Little Ireland, the daughter of Irish immigrants to Scotland. Known as Jetta, she came with her husband, Daniel, and their 3-year-old son, Sean, to the U.S. in 1950, settling in Brooklyn. In 1977, she and her husband returned to Glasgow. A staunch partisan of the Irish Republican cause, she demonstrated in protests during the 1980s against British treatment of imprisoned I.R.A. hunger strikers.

Her husband died of cancer in 1993, and in 1995 she returned to New York to be near her son. She lived in a studio in Tribeca at first, then went to a nursing home as her Alzheimer’s condition progressed, later moving in with her son in Soho as the disease worsened.

Nevertheless, she had good days, and as a member of the Downtown Independent Democrats club, of which Sean is president, volunteered in the political campaigns of Kathryn Freed and C. Virginia Fields.

Her funeral Mass was Sat., June 6, at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 263 Mulberry St.

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