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Michael McEvoy
I'm far from stupid


My name is Michael McEvoy. I was born on May 26, 1963 in Norfolk, Virginia. It is on the eastern seaboard of the United States. We moved to New Orleans, Louisiana back in 1964. Then we moved to Washington DC, when I was three years old. We moved to Londonderry in the United Kingdom in July 1967; the reason for coming over here – my dad was in the United States Navy. We have been here ever since. I am still an American after 42 years.


I am the oldest of five children, and family life was happy and normal. I played football and went swimming. I was involved in an accident in Washington DC in 1966. It damaged the talking part of the brain. I have got a speech defect. I stutter and I have to repeat things to people. Also, I have got a limp in the right leg. If this accident hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have the problems I have now. I have still got a problem in accepting this. I am a little bit angry over this accident at times. Some doctors ran me through a battery of tests in 1971 and 1983. These doctors could find nothing wrong with me.


I attended Belmont School from April 6, 1971 to June 29, 1979. I had no problems at this school in connection with the speech defect. In general, my teachers were very helpful and good to me. But there were a few teachers who were downright cheeky. The boys and the girls were good to me.


When I was five years old, back in 1968, my mother took me to a circus. The clown went to other children but not come near me. People called me “sp-----c” and mocked me and were putting me down. It was not very nice for me at all. I was called a “stupid b-----d” and “empty-head”. Me being stupid. Far from it. I have got a razor sharp mind. I am very good at history and military history. I have been driving a car for the last eight years. I passed the driving test, first time, on December 13, 2001. It doesn’t bother me any more when people call me names.


I went to Glenbrook day centre from September 1980 to June 26, 1981 and the Melrose day centre from August 20, 1985 to June 10, 1994. I have been coming to Destined, on and off, since September 2003. At the Melrose centre and Destine, I had great times. I talked to people, watched the TV, went to bowls and had fun. I didn’t like Glenbrook – people in their 60s and 70s. I was only 17 years old back then.


Over the past nine years, I have studied computing in Tullyally and the Strand Tech [North West Institute]. And I am doing a cooking course up in Strabane Tech. This course started on September 10, 2008 – another two more years to go.


I worked in Brooke Park library from September 1979 to August 1980. ‘Young Help’ got me this job – they were based in Pump Street in the town.

I started working with Sow & Grow on April 13, 1992. I have been there for 17 years. The staff are very good to me. I weed, and I do the dinner list. But I find it monotonous. I get on well with some of the workers.

I had three jobs from August 1999 to December 2000 but they went pear-shaped. New Horizons got me these jobs. They are based up in Strabane and find jobs for people with learning problems. New Horizons got me a job at the library in Finn House, Stradreagh. I started this job on April 24, 2001, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm to 4pm. Finn House moved to Lakeview in September 2005, and I am at the library just Thursdays now.


If I pass this cooking course I would like to work in a restaurant and meet people.


I spend my time reading books about military history, from October 1066 up to the Gulf War II in March 2003. I go to bowls – and am very good at this. I go on the computer and watch TV. Me and my friends take a run in the car. I drive the car.


Got no girl. I am happy.

Yes. More groups are springing up. Destined and New Horizons to name a few.



[See also Mary Joe McEvoy]