After the war, Bernard lived at 35 Buckingham Street, Moss Side, Manchester with his family. Their neighbours Toddy & Mary Bergin lived at No. 39, where their niece from Dublin, Jane McCarthy was a frequent visitor in 1947. Bernard was smitten with Jane and romance soon blossomed. However, Jane loved her home back in Dublin and felt she could never settle in Manchester. This was not going to stop Bernard and he pursued her travelling several times to Dublin to visit. They eventually got engaged and were married on Boxing Day 26th December 1951. They had their wedding reception in Janes’s parents house in John Dillon Street, Christchurch, Dublin. Jane’s dad, James provided a keg of beer for the reception.
Bernard and Jane had 4 children. The eldest child, Sean, was born in 1953 and later three girls, Eileen 1954, Bernadette 1958 and Denise, born in 1964.
During their 54 year marriage Bernard and Jane were not without their ups and downs. But throughout it all Bernard only wanted the best for his beloved Jane. And at times things became very difficult. Then when Bernard couldn’t find work in Dublin, he went back to England to look for work. This was 1955. He returned to the Army taking up residence in Wellington Barracks, Bury, Manchester. Jane followed soon after. It was during this time that their third child Bernadette was born. The family eventually returned to Dublin in 1959.
As the years progressed Bernard did find work in Dublin and before long income was steady. He bought a car and the family never looked back financially. Bernard enjoyed the life he and Jane had built together and were reaping the rewards of their hard work. Even as the children left home he was still always generous with his time and money.
Something Bernard loved was to bring the whole family, children, spouses and grandchildren on a trip to Blackpool. He and Jane would organise the trip and then pay for it – for everybody. These were great times for the whole family and often included visits to and from Manchester to meet up with Bernard’s extended family. Bernard loved socialising, but it was even better if he had his family around him.
In later years Bernard would look after Jane. Through illness she came to depend on Bernard more and more. He met her every need and saw to it that she lacked nothing. In the meantime Bernard began to feel the effects of age himself. Things became more and more difficult at home but he still always put Jane first.
Jane was from a very close family. Her mam and dad Mary and James McCarthy were from the Liberties, Dublin and were married in Meath Street church. Jane had 4 sisters, May, Eileen, Breda and Kay. And two brothers Jimmy and John. Jane lived most of her life in the Liberties going to school in St. Catherine’s Primary, Meath Street. Later she went to work for PYE in Dundrum. However, as Jane was growing up during school holidays she would travel to Liverpool to live with her grandmother Jane Murray. (Her father’s mother). She loved the times she spent there and for years to come would speak with fondness of her time in Liverpool. It was during one of these trips that Jane went to visit her cousin Eileen Bergin and her husband in Manchester. And there that she met Bernard – the rest, as they say is history.
Jane was always proud to be a ‘Liberty Girl’ and never forgot that fact. But she dearly loved Liverpool and indeed Manchester. She had many happy memories from both cities, not least the fact that Bernard was also a part of them.
She sadly past away on 22nd September 2007 aged 79 years.
Bernard and Jane had four children. Sean, Eileen, Bernadette and Denise. The first two with Irish names, the second two with French. At least that’s what Bernard and Jane told them!! Sean and Denise were born in the old Coombe hospital, Dublin 8. Eileen was born at home (on the North side!) and Bernadette was born in Manchester while Bernard and Jane were living in Wellington Army Barracks, Bury, Manchester.
Jane and Bernard had 8 grand children. 4 boys and 4 girls. Bernard’s eldest child Sean had two children, Jennifer and Jonathan. Eileen had 4 children, Anthony, Vincent, Jane and Gerard. While Bernadette had two girls, Ruth and Emma. Ruth sharing the same birthday and her grandad Bernard, 19th June. Bernard really loved each one of his grand children and was so proud of their achievements. He loved to see them come and visit and would chat endlessly with them.