COUNTDOWN Enda Mulloy with in London with his sons Bobby (left) and James. They are due to return to Mulranny for the first time in almost 18 months next month.
I was last home to Mulranny in February 2020 when it was half-term for the two boys.
It’s the longest time I’ve been away from home. Normally I’m home a minimum of twice a year.
I’m booked to come home with my two boys on July 28 for two weeks. Hopefully all will be okay when we get to that stage.
I can’t wait to get home. What plays on your mind is the fact that if anything happened, getting home would be an issue. It has been a tough aul slog.
We Facetime with home all the time. We’re a very close family and we talk every day. Technology is brilliant but it cannot compensate for being there.
My mother Geraldine and my sister Elizabeth haven’t seen my sons Bobby (9) and James (5) in a year and a half and they’ve grown so much in that time.
Elizabeth has four sons too. The youngest, Senan, was born on January 2, 2020. We were home to see him in February 2020. I’m supposed to stand for him so he hasn’t had the Christening yet. He will be able to walk for his Christening!
Thomas, my brother, is in Harrow. My first cousin Shane Mulloy is in Hampstead as well. We can meet up so that has been a big help.
I work in London as Curriculum Manager in Construction at West London College. I was a lecturer previous to that. So during the pandemic it was meeting after meeting after meeting. I was working at home on my own and it was soul destroying. Because so much changed in how we operated and we were effectively reinventing the wheel, we were so busy that I only had three or four days off last summer.
Since March 9 everyone is back on campus. You’ve to wear masks on the campus and sanitise your hands and there’s a testing centre in each of the four campuses. Every three weeks your entire group is tested.
I’m getting my second jab on Tuesday. I got my first on March 10. The NHS have been brilliant in terms of the vaccine roll out but the test and trace has been an absolute disaster. Most people downloaded the app but it wouldn’t work half the time.
Boris Johnson said he was going to save Christmas and things went nuts and the schools closed very quickly into the New Year. There was a lot of upset about that.
Boris is hugely popular among the populace but among those in education and health circles and those who work in the public sector generally, he is not very revered.
Music is a huge part of my life. I was playing with my father and my uncles, the Mulloy Brothers, since I was 14.
Over here I am part of a band, the Biblecode Sundays and we gig a lot.
Our last gig as a band was on Paddy’s Day 2020, at Chelsea FC’s ground, they’ve a music venue there called Under the Bridge.
The first break did me good. Then in September and October of last year you could do solo gigs but we then went into another lockdown and the second break made me realise how much I missed it.
I’ve started back gigging since May 17.
We gigged in North Harrow on June 4 last and the atmosphere was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever played in. Everyone was really buoyant, thoroughly enjoying themselves and had smiles on all their faces.
There was a feeling for a long time that things would never been the same again, that there would be a new order but things seem to be slotting back into place the way they used to be. People are not as fearful, there seems to be an air of optimism.
We often talk about how my father Tom would have coped with the pandemic if he was still around … and we all agree he wouldn’t have coped at all! Nor would our uncle Martin. Social distancing would be completely anathema to them. Between shaking hands and hugging and back slaps, they couldn’t keep their hands off people!
Our uncle Pat has really struggled with not being able to perform. He is the last of the brothers alive. He has done some free gigs on the prom in Mulranny where it is outdoors and people can social distance. I’ve seen videos of that and that’s nice.
It will be nicer again to be there and see it for myself. I just can’t wait to get home.
In conversation with Edwin McGreal
Just briefly. . .
Best thing about living abroad?
Coming home, it’s the best buzz when I get near Mulranny. The best thing about London is the Irish community here, it’s so tight knit.
One thing you would like to export from London to Mulranny?
The Jaflong curry in South Harrow.
Most things you miss about home?
Family, friends and the sea. Quite miss the middle bar in McLoughlin’s in Mulranny too.
Favourite place to visit in Mayo?
My uncle and aunt Vinny and Maureen in Inver.
Which three Mayo people would you pick on your Zoom quiz team?
Any three people out of the pub in Mulranny, they seem to know everything.
What’s your most possession at the moment?
My Ernie Ball Stingray Music Man 1984 Prototype Bass.
What is your happy place in London?
The National Gallery or The Shawl in South Harrow.
What do you miss about life pre-Covid?
Travel and not worrying about others getting it. I also have a slight touch of long Covid myself, which I wish wasn’t there.
Sum up the Coronavirus in three words?
No going back.