Michael’s re­turn to the Nazareth

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - by SORCHA CROW­LEY

THE fright­ened and lonely 4-year-old boy who was de­liv­ered “like a par­cel” to Nazareth House in 1925, re­turned for the first time in 82 years last week­end.

Michael Lau­rence Porter is now 97 years old but with the help of two cousins, he made the emo­tional jour­ney from his home in Eng­land back to Sligo for the launch of a sec­ond bi­og­ra­phy on him­self and three Nazareth ‘Home­boys’ by au­thor Michael Mur­phy.

The book launch took place in the Nazareth Chapel on Satur­day in front of a large gath­er­ing of friends, fam­ily, for­mer Nazareth House res­i­dents and in­ter­ested mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Speak­ing in a voice still strong but vis­i­bly emo­tional, Michael thanked the au­thor and his ex­tended Porter fam­ily for or­gan­is­ing the oc­ca­sion.

“Mostly to thank my fam­ily for com­ing, and to Mar­garet and Michael Mur­phy who made it pos­si­ble for me to come to see you to­day,” he said.

Michael said he was like “a lost lit­tle lamb who didn’t want to be found for all these years” but thanked his rel­a­tives for show­ing him love and kind­ness over the years.

The shame of feel­ing ‘dif­fer­ent’ for hav­ing been raised in an in­sti­tu­tional home such as Nazareth House pre­vented Michael from telling his wife and chil­dren about his past.

Af­ter three years spent telling his amaz­ing life story to Michael Mur­phy, he was per­suaded to dis­close his past and felt a weight was lifted.

Some for­mer res­i­dents per­formed a recital of ‘Danny Boy’

Sr John and other Sis­ters from Nazareth House wel­comed Michael and his rel­a­tives for re­fresh­ments af­ter­wards.

Michael’s book is called ‘ The Quar­tet: Af­ter-care Lives of Ir­ish Catholic Home­boys’.

Au­thor, so­cial worker, his­to­rian and teacher Michael Mur­phy with Michael Porter at Nazareth.

Donal Hack­ett. Pics:

Michael sur­rounded by mem­bers of the Porter and Coen fam­i­lies at Nazareth House last Satur­day.

Pic: Donal Hack­ett.

Michael Lau­rence Porter (97) pic­tured at the launch of a new book about his life af­ter Nazareth House.

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