Alex McCrory remembers his uncle who was laid to rest this morning.
|Mick (Right) with his brother in happier times.|
My uncle Mick 'Wolfman' McCrory contracted COVID-19 last week in his care residence. Taking his overall poor health and age into consideration, he fitted the profile of those most at risk from the virus. As a family, we can only hope that he did not suffer too greatly in the end.
Mick was a massive presence in our life from the very beginning. He was my father's dearest brother and best friend. Whenever they were together nobody else mattered. At times, it could be a selfish relationship excluding others. But they were happy being together, sharing a pint and betting on the horses.
For years they drank in our home every Saturday afternoon because our mother worked all day. They were convent babysitters as they knocked back a dozen or so beers while watching the sport. I do not recall any major crises ever occurring.
In later years, they went out together every Friday night to one of the local clubs: St Paul's, St Galls, West Social Club, Marty Forsythe, to name but the few. Mick's only son Bernard had the thankless task of getting them home at the end of the night. Invariably drunk, they spent an hour hugging and kissing before getting out of the car. "Sound. Sound. Sound" was my dad's mantra. Mick would reply: "Love you, brother." All the while poor Bernard was going through a meltdown.
My head is full of stories of their antics going back to early childhood. On more than a few occasions, they returned home with a black eye or fat lip. Being quiet men by nature, they reacted to any unwanted interference by rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck in.
They told many stories of legendary battles growing up on in Ward Street on the Grosvenor Road. I have a particular childhood memory of a fight with the sidekick of a well known hard man who tried to extort money from my dad in a local bookies. The offender ended up with a busted face for his trouble. Suffice to say, they relished a pint together and did not tolerate nuisances spoiling their enjoyment.
There were many other aspects to Mick that I could write about, personal and political. The one thing I will mention was his strong personal commitment to the struggle for Irish freedom.
Mick was a member of the Republican Movement for most of his functioning adult life.
|Mick in the colour party @ Easter Sunday parade 1985.|
He was interned on the Maidstone in the early Seventies where he sustained a serious ear injury from a beating meted out by either screws or soldiers. He became partially deaf in later life as a result.
Mick served many roles in the Republican Movement, and in the words of Bobby Sands, "no part was too big or too small" for him to have carried out. For this reason, he was well respected by his comrades as well as by the people of St James, Rodney, and St Katherine's.
A giant of my life has gone. Slán go deo, Mick.