☘️Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a day to celebrate all things Irish!☘️
Originally on St. Patrick’s Day, Irish people would dance, drink and feast on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. Over the years the event has evolved to include festivals, parades and parties across the world.
At Borough Care, the incredible life stories and fascinating characters of our residents are always respected, admired and celebrated, so today is a great opportunity to hear from some of our Irish residents and their families!
Read on to find out how the teams in our care homes help keep their love of Ireland alive through reminiscing, themed-events and plenty of Guinness 😉
Jimmy is from Milton Bay in County Clare and came to England in 1960. He travelled to London on the Queen Maud boat, where he sat on a suitcase for a seat before making his way to Manchester where his sister already lived. Jimmy met the love of his life Kathy at Manchester’s Astoria Irish Club in 1961, and the love they have for each other still shines through to this day.
Once Jimmy retired, he became a volunteer at Irish Community Care in Levenshulme where he attended to people’s gardens, did shopping for older people and even painted and decorated people’s homes.
Kathy loves that Cawood House keeps Jimmy’s Irish memories and roots alive by reminiscing, looking through photos and genuinely doing everything they can to always learn more about Jimmy. Jimmy does miss Ireland, and says ‘there’s something very special about us Irish people.’
Tony first came to England from Dublin in 1953 when he was just 12 years old. He traveled on the B&I cattle boat where passengers had to share their space with cows! He first lived in Birmingham where some of his family already lived. He then went back to Ireland for a few years and returned to England in 1960. Tony lived in London a short while before moving to Bury near his family.
Tony and his brother set up a small scaffolding business and were one day working at North Greater Manchester Hospital when Tony’s brother came back from running an errand and couldn’t find Tony. He eventually discovered Tony in the pub with a couple of nurses! He said Tony certainly has a way with the ladies.
Tony loved his childhood in Ireland and enjoys going on Google Maps with Cawood staff to show them landmarks in Dublin. He adores Irish people and loves to talk about Ireland with his fellow Dubliner resident, Mary who he has a great bond with. Staff say you will always hear Tony before you see him most of the time, singing away to his favourite band The Dubliners.
The lovely Maureen grew up on the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo. She lived on a beautiful rural farm where she helped her family milk the cows and feed the chickens. Maureen says the farm was so remote that she had to take a horse in order to visit the local shop!
As she grew older, there was no work for her to do around the farm so, aged 17, she took the ferry to the UK and lived with her Aunty in Moss Side. There, she worked in cafes and went to night school. She then began working in offices and later became a manager of a nursing home.
Maureen loves her Catholic religion and is often visited at Meadway by the local Catholic priest, ensuring she doesn’t forget her roots! Maureen said ‘I miss the stunning countryside and the people from Ireland.‘
Named after the Patron Saint himself, Bryn Haven resident Patrick is from a small village in County Mayo. Patrick comes from a family of farmers and did land work and haymaking – he even owned a horse named Tom!
Patrick loved to eat traditional Irish stew and bacon and cabbage. He was a member of the Irish Defence Force before moving to England in his twenties. In a later career he became a civil engineer, travelling across the region to make tunnels.
Patrick has been married to his lovely wife Caroline for 55 years. Patrick’s son explained that back in Ireland they would celebrate St Patrick’s Day by walking up Mount Croagh Patrick, followed by a visit to the local pub.
Kathleen was born in Ireland in a place called Navan in Co Meath. Meath is one of the largest counties in Ireland and was home to the ancient High Kings of Ireland!
Kathleen came to England when she was just 20 years old, along with her brother, sister and husband. Kathleen missed all of the family that she left behind when she moved, but once the school holidays came, she and her family always went back to visit.
Kathleen lived in Davenport in Stockport for decades, but never lost her Irish accent. She loves to talk about anything Irish with the staff and residents at Bamford and adores a glass of Guinness!
Mary was around 13 years old when she left Dublin to travel to England by boat with her mother. Mary’s older sister already lived in England, so Mary and her mum joined her where she lived in Blackpool, before later moving to Manchester.
Mary says she misses the friendly Irish people – but she’s never too far from one in Cawood House! The care home staff love reminiscing with Mary about Ireland and she is always up for showing off her Irish dancing skills with fellow Irish lady, the home’s manager Lisa.
St Patrick’s Day is always a big event at Cawood House and Mary loves getting involved. Manager Lisa and the other Irish residents and staff at Cawood House always help her feel at home.