Mick was born in Corporation Place in a flat complex known locally as the buildings. Shortly after his birth the family moved to 175, St Bridget’s Gardens. Then two years later they moved to 32A, a flat in the adjacent block. He is the 2nd youngest of five children, 3 boys and 2 girls.
Mick’s father was a docker called Paddy Foran, who worked on the docks as a casual docker.
Mick left school at age 14 and it is only in later life that he realised that he is dyslexic. He began his working life as a messenger boy and later migrated to working as a casual docker, as his father had before him. Micks work as a casual docker, working a couple of days a week for the B&I. When he was about 18-20, Mick purchased a second-hand lorry for fifty euro and began his professional role as a haulier. He said that initially he took every job that was going, no matter how difficult and built a reputation as an honest and reliable haulier.
He met Kay at the Skating ballroom on the night that Phil Lynott was playing in his band called the Black Eagles. He loved music and ended up not only meeting Kay that night but also getting to chat to Phil himself.
The family eventually moved back to the Buildings in Corporation, where lots of casual dockers lived. He made many great friends there and, on the docks, and he has remained lifelong friends with them ever since.
He remembers Noel from Mattie’s very well. He recalls that Noel always had a smile on his face. He was very well dressed with a white shirt and tie. His hair was always slicked back with either Brylecream or Silvercrene. They would go to the local cinema in Talbot St. The cinema was known locally as “The Elec” which was short for the full title of The New Electric Cinema. The cinema trips took place every Saturday afternoon or night. They particularly loved seeing Audy Murphy in Westerns. Having watched the movie they would call into the shop and upon seeing my dad would feel that they were back in the western again. This was of course, reinforced by the fact that cattle and sheep were driven down our streets several times a week to the waiting boats to ship them to England. Mick also recalls that as a consequence the most popular Christmas toys for boys at that time were Cowboy and Indian hats, headdresses, cap guns and rifles. These were popular throughout the country due to the popularity of Westerns throughout the world. On Christmas morning the only shop open was my father’s shop and it was thronged with thousands of children waiting in line to buy rolls of caps for their new toys from Santa.
Mick recalls that times were very hard with poverty being an enormous stress on families. He and his brothers would chop up sticks and go around the doors of the community selling bundles of sticks. His brothers would hand huge bundles to him to hold and hide around the corner. The bundles were so big that his face couldn’t be seen. Locals would open the door and take pity on the little boy over-burdened with the bundles. They would buy the whole lot from him. As Mick reminisced about this he said, “We weren’t trying to be smart or trick them, we were trying to survive. We had no money.”