ONE of Strabane’s great characters, Michael ‘Mickey’ Porter has passed away. He was 86 years old.
Renowned across the north west for his humour as a stand-up act, Mr Porter was described this week as “always (being) sunny side up.”
A former telegram boy, hotel porter and potato picker, Mr Porter was also an award-winning stand-up, having picked up an over 60s accolade for his act in Dublin “when I was a younger man,” he once quipped.
“I was very sorry to hear he had passed,” friend and former pantomime organiser, John McGinley said this week.
“Mickey was a real character that I enjoyed working with.
“We would have put on pantomimes after the Melmount Centre opened and Mickey would always have been eager. He and George Brennan would have provided the comedy.
“Mickey was always sunny-side up, always smiling.
“He used to do a lot of charity work too and he would have appeared on any show at the drop of a hat.
“He was a very affable man. I would have had a real soft spot for him.”
Speaking to this newspaper following his 80th birthday in 2012, Mr Porter reflected on a life of making people laugh.
He said, “I’m telling jokes this long, long time – since I was 25, I think. I was living across the water at the time (in England) and I was drinking at the time and I used to tell other boys in the pubs jokes.
“When I was getting married, the priest said to me, ‘Mickey, do you take this woman for better or for worse?’
“I said, ‘I’ll take her for better, Father and if she gets any worse, I’ll let you know.’
Mr Porter passed away on May 9 at his home in Innisfree Gardens. Husband to the late Kathleen, Mr Porter was the much loved father of Ann, Patsy, Jean, Martin, Marie, Eileen, Damien, Kenneth and the late Michael; and brother of the late Richie and Patsy.
Funeral mass took place on Sunday (May 12) at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Strabane followed by interment in Strabane Cemetery.