I think he was living in the Grosvenor but the Henrys - and indeed the wider McManus clan from which the mother Dinah hailed - were a close knit family. So, as the American poet Robert Frost once observed home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. It wasn't just Emmanuel who got in - I got the warmest of welcomes any time I arrived.
It was during those house visits that I got to chat with him, his mother Dinah, brother Joe and sisters, Sarah, Joanne, Roisin and Patricia. Emmanuel got on great with me but had a considerably dimmer view of many others associated with the Republican Movement, about whom he expressed forceful and candid opinions. He told me he thought some of them were little more than bullies who enjoyed the pleasure of dominating their neighbours. Years later one of those he was critical of would be sentenced for stabbing his brother Joe.
Often during the work out from Maghaberry prison on a Sunday evening in late 1992, returning from the Lower Ormeau Road to make my way back to my home in Twinbrook I would call in to see Dinah just before heading over to catch the last black taxi. One cold October or November evening on my way down the Ormeau Road to the town one of Emmanuel's sisters happened to stop while I was being detained by the RUC while they checked me out. It seemed like an eternity before they let me go but despite the biting cold she refused to budge and stayed with me before we walked the short journey to their home and a warm bevy. Needless to say by the time I reacted Castle Street the last black taxi had long since departed, leaving me to catch a private one. That was the sort of family there were - not the type to walk past a friend in difficulty. Always the type to bring you in and open up their hospitality to you.
Dinah had a strong affinity with republicanism and her door was never slammed in the face of a republican seeking to evade British foot patrols. While bringing up her family and living in Divis Flats during some of the worst British militarisation of the Lower Falls, her own home was subject to British army incursions. When I learned of Emanuel's death earlier this year, my first thoughts were with her. She adored her children and to lose one must have torn her apart. There is no coffin heavier than your own child's.
While on the blanket protest, someone would recite a poem, some words of which had burrowed their way into the recesses of my mind when other things had long since vanished forever. Perhaps somewhere in the lines comfort might be found for Emmanuel's mother, his siblings, children and grandchildren. He left his mark.
Do not stand
By my grave, and weep.
I am not there,
I do not sleep-
I am the thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints in snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle, autumn rain.
As you awake with morning’s hush,
I am the swift up-flinging rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the day transcending soft night.
Do not stand
By my grave, and cry-
I am not there.
I did not die.