I met Michael at his home in Liverpool at 10.30am on Saturday 11th July. He has lived at his current address for 13 years, a one bedroom first floor apartment. I noted from his Safe Home Application Form that he had not been home for 30 years until he travelled over for a trip quite recently.
Michael told me that he never felt lonely for Ireland when he was working but since he retired he just looks at the walls and wishes he could be at home. He said he has no family in England and his brothers and sisters are very keen to have him home. He said that despite his not having travelled home they were a close family and had kept in touch through letters and phone calls. Sometimes a family member would be over visiting him
Having seen a notice in the Safe Home newsletter about the possibility of being required to get police clearance carried out, Michael decided he would go ahead and start the application process.
Michael was keen to stress that he is absolutely certain that moving home it the right step for him and that he has discussed the possibility at length with his siblings. He knows it will be hard to acclimatise but it is the right decision and it is what he wants.
Michael does his own shopping, cooking, cleaning etc. He has no support and needs none and considers himself to be very lucky in that he has no health concerns. Michael worked all the time since arriving in England so has the full British State pension and some savings.
Michael insisted in driving me to my next appointment in the local Irish Centre, waiting for me and then driving to the following address. He said he had time on his hands and liked to help when he could. I asked if he had any involvement with the local Irish social club and he said that he didn’t. His home is a good distance away from the centre and, when he was socialising with friends, they tended to out locally. As a driver who doesn’t take a drink Michael felt the Irish club offered little that would interest him.
Michael was born in Co. Donegal and said he would be keen to consider any housing options that might become available there.
Outreach & Advocacy Officer