Michael’s return to the Nazareth
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.
Michael surrounded by members of the Porter and Coen families at Nazareth House last Saturday.
Michael Laurence Porter (97) pictured at the launch of a new book about his life after Nazareth House.