Michael contacted Safe Home to explore whether the option of returning to live in Ireland was the right move for him as the council property in Manchester where he has lived for nearly 30 years is going to be demolished. Michael was informed he would be re-located to another part of the city but is very nervous about the proposed move due to the high level of reported muggings in that area.
Michael was born in Dublin in 1936. In the summer of 1955, he left for England with his brother, James. After working around various parts of England, Michael eventually settled in Manchester where he has lived now for the past 32 years. He spent some time in the Irish Army in his youth and recounted positive tales of the time he was stationed in Africa.
Michael never married but he lived happily with his partner, Lucy, for almost 40 years. Lucy had been married previously and was not officially separated. Michael said that Lucy background caused a rift between him and his sisters back in Dublin, “but she was a queen to me” and he told me that Lucy sadly passed away in early 2014. Lucy and Michael did not have family of their own.
Michael told me his brother James, who now lives in Yorkshire is in very poor health and he doesn’t see much of him now. Michael said that he feels very lonely and isolated since Lucy’s death. “ I go down to Sainsburys just to have a chat with the staff there – they’re all very nice but they don’t want to be doing with an aul fella like me”.
Michael currently has no support systems in place in Manchester but has siblings in Meath and Offaly who would love him to come home. On enquiring about the possibility of setting up befriending or day care support services for him in Manchester while he explores what is right for him, Phillip’s response was:
“Don’t call me on a Wednesday. I go out every Wednesday before lunchtime. I ring a taxi to come and pick me up and I go down to the cemetery to Lucy. You see she died at about one o’clock on a Wednesday and I like to go down to be with her.”
Michael wants to be buried back home in Dublin and tells how he has “already made enquires with a local undertaker about bringing Lucy home with me when the time comes”.
Michael has since been in touch with the Irish Community Care in Cheetham Hill, Manchester and a Safe Home Outreach Officer is scheduled to visit him at his home over the coming months
Outreach & Advocacy Officer