Grieving daughter's appeal after dad dies from Covid at nursing home

Michael McCrory died in Clifton Nursing Home in Belfast Credit: UTV

Michael McCrory was a husband, a father and a grandfather.He died from Covid in Clifton nursing home in Belfast, with his family unable to say a proper goodbye at his bedside.

He loved to sing, he loved his country and western music, and he loved nothing more than to see us coming through the front doors of the home and his face just lit up. He would sit and hold your hand and tell you all his stories

Catherine Hare, Michael's daughter
Michael cherished visits with his daughter and grandchildren Credit: UTV

His daughter was in full PPE at his final moments, while his extended family had to watch through video call.She spoke exclusively to UTV."Some of them couldn't even look. It was so difficult. You may be holding their hand but you can't touch their skin, you can't kiss them goodbye, you're watching them in agony. It was awful to watch him like that."I think if people saw how [the virus] really takes somebody, and the suffering you have afterwards because you haven't got a proper grieving process to go through...it's awful"The chaplain at the Mater hospital, the first centre for Covid patients in Northern Ireland, says he knows only too well what it is like to be at the bedside of someone who is dying. Father Tony McAleese said"It's harrowing. A few nights ago, I was called into ICU for a woman under 60 who had Covid, and their family member was in tears because she hadn't seen their loved one. It's just just these older people who are 70 or 80 years old, it's younger people as well."

Michael was a loved father and grandfather Credit: UTV

Catherine accepts the new Stormont restrictions will have a huge impact on people's lives. She believes it is a stark and simple choice between life and death.

I can understand how people are worried about losing their jobs, and thinking about where their next bill is going to be paid from. But I would never want to be in a position where I'm saying I've got my wages this month, but I haven't got my mummy or daddy.

Catherine Hare, Michael's daughter

As Father McAleese prepares for another night on the Covid wards, supporting not just patients but staff too, he urges everyone to follow the guidelines "If you see what my chaplaincy sees and my colleagues see, you would wear a mask. I have a mask in every coat I wear just in case I walk in without one"Michael's daughter also appeals for everyone to follow the guidance."People need to take this seriously before any more people die".Jane Loughrey reports: