Michael Haining from Moville

Several times I have heard Movillians talking about a guy who used to live here long ago but left in his late teens or early twenties. They called him Mickey Hainey. They said he was a bit of a legend.

They were surprised that I had heard of him as I have only been here 12 years although I’ve been coming here since I was a kid on holiday. Indeed we came here every year.

Indeed I knew Mickey ‘Hainey’ very well. He is my cousin – although the last time I saw him was decades ago. His name is actually Haining rather than Hainey and he is known as Mick Haining nowadays.

Great Organiser

Those who I heard talking about him talked in awe of him. They said that he was a great organiser and that he started the Boys Club in town many years ago. He was always organising something from his house next to Sean McLaughlin’s (Painter) current house. Sean is his cousin too. He organised competitions for them all.

Many youngsters continue to think of Moville as a very dull place to live. It wasn’t when Mickey Haining lived here. He made his own fun and fun for the other youngsters who lived here at the time.

The other young lads all looked up to him. I remember looking up to my big cousin too.

Moville Celtic

I remember seeing him play in goal for Moville Celtic. It was one of the most iconic games ever. It was a cup match and they and a team from Derry had drawn three times so this was to be the final match. It was in the Bay Field.

It was heading for a draw for a fourth time when a decision was taken that corners would be counted in the event of a draw.

As they entered the final seconds of the game Moville were drawing on goals but were a corner behind.

Billy Doherty

The ball came to Billy Doherty, just outside the box who hit a screamer into the net.

There was widespread celebration on the sidelines. Then someone noticed that the players weren’t celebrating and were arguing with the referee.

The ref had blown as his whistle as Billy’s shot flew through the air.

Read the full astonishing story of that fantastic match, in Mickey Haining’s own words, by clicking on Moville Celtic’s Most Dramatic Game.

Girl’s School Teacher

He left the town to go to England and taught in a girl’s school before retiring a couple of years ago.

Here’s what they said about him on the RateMyTeacher website where schoolkids often get their revenge on teachers by giving bad reports.

“This man has no idea of the impact he made on my life. I sincerely hope he stumbles across this page and had the opportunity to see what a truly amazing guy he is. Thank you Mr H!! Kim xx”

One of the most amazing men I have ever had the privilege to meet! Such a wise man, helped me so much not just through school but life in general. The best.”

cool dude. well funny!! Gr8 teacher.. sad he is leaving! bex w “.

He’s the best teacher ever!!! He always makes us laugh in lessons 🙂 5 definitely “.

great teacher and nice bloke “.

Lost to Moville

It’s just a shame his organisational ability, his teaching skills and his desire to help has been lost to the town.

He didn’t come back for 37 years until he slipped in a couple of years ago briefly but didn’t have time to contact anyone.

However, he did contact me by email afterwards through CraicOn to say he had been here.

So, would he be back again. I emailed him in the last couple of days to ask if he would be back and told him about the DylanFest.

Michael Haining’s Reply

He replied today:-

“Hello, Gerry…

“I’ve a guilty confession to make. I was actually in Moville last Wednesday.

“It was very much a flying visit – my lad, Tom, wanted to see where I was born, grew up etc., since he has plenty of information and experience of his mother’s origins but next to none of mine.

“We got to Culdaff, where we were booked, on Tuesday evening, did Moville in the monsoon on Wednesday and left on Thursday morning.

“So we missed the Beatle Fest, too!

“I’d thought about calling in/arranging a meeting with you but then it occurred to me that it would all be a bit squashed in and the trip was more for him than me.

“So I thought I’d sneak in and out without anybody knowing on this occasion. Next time, though, there will be plenty of notice.

“So I hope you’re not offended. Next time, I promise, will be better.


So Moville’s legend from long ago still remains an enigma – for now.

You really should read Moville Celtic’s Most Dramatic Game

Update from Mick Haining

“I think there’s a misprint here – there should be a space in the middle of the word ‘legend’ – Leg end would be more apt.

“To quote Gerry Lynott, my football manager of days gone by, pointing to his head, “That Mickey Hainey’s got it up here – shame he can’t get it down to his feet.”

“Here’s the haiku I wrote in the sand at Kinnagoe Bay, which would have been even more apt in Moville itself:
Back near where I grew
Waves seem just as vigorous,
haven’t aged at all.