Michael Coyle

Maria McGrane

Michael was born and brought up in no. 46 Phil Shanahan House in Sheriff St.

He was the third of four children, two sisters and one brother.

This  flat complex unlike the others, which opened onto Sheriff St. opened out onto Commons St. However, this meant a longer route to Sheriff St and the shops, mainly Mattie’s shop. Over time a short cut developed cross the grassy area that led directly to the footpath facing the door of Mattie’s shop. So rather than have to climb a wall and/or a railing, an opening appeared in the wall, through wear and tear, and people could take a more direct route.

Michael joined the Irish defence forces and served his country for six years. During that time, he also served in the Lebanon for six months.

He left Sheriff Street when he joined the army and shortly afterwards, he married his lovely wife Carol on the 29.03.1976.

Michael was friends with my brother Paul. They were in school together and he has very happy memories of calling to our house which was attached to the shop, and sitting with my brother Paul to do their homework together.

He recalls loving New Year’s Eve because a local lady called Martha Mallon who was a great singer would stand in the grassy garden area of his flat complex and sing with other revellers joining in with her, or taking their turns to sing their party piece. Everyone in Sheriff St had a party piece.

The next day was a bumper day for the children as they went around the garden collecting all of the coins that had fallen out of the party goers’ pockets, and then straight to Matties to buy sweets.

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