Friday 30 September 2016

'A man for all seasons' - sports stars among hundreds of mourners at Billy Quinn's funeral

Graham Clifford

Published 19/01/2016 | 17:12

Niall Quinn, (son) and his mother, Mary, (wife), follow as the coffin is carried from St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary after the funeral of Billy Quinn
Niall Quinn, (son) and his mother, Mary, (wife), follow as the coffin is carried from St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary after the funeral of Billy Quinn
Valerie Roe at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Br Kevin Crowley, Director of the Capuchin day centre at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Louis Fitzgerald, publican and hotel owner at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Grandson, Mikey Quinn, right helps to carry the coffin from St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary after the funeral of Billy Quinn
Grandson, Mikey Quinn, right helps carry the coffin from St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary after the funeral of Billy Quinn
Vincent Hogan, and Cathal Dervan at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Mick Byrne, former Ireland physio at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Mick Galwey, former Munster and Ireland rugby player, at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
John Givens, brother of former Irish international Don Givens, at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Former Kerry footballer, Sean Walsh at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Michael Lowry, TD, at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Gillian Quinn and her daughter Aisling arrive at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary for the funeral of Billy Quinn
Niall Quinn, (son) and his mother, Mary, (wife), at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary at the funeral of Billy Quinn
Niall Quinn is offered condolences at the funeral of his father Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
Grandson, Mikey Quinn, right, carries the coffin into St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary at the funeral of Billy Quinn
Niall Quinn, (son) and his mother, Mary, (wife), at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary at the funeral of Billy Quinn
Andrew Doyle, TD, at the funeral of Billy Quinn at St Marys Church, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary

Hundreds of mourners, including many from the world of Irish sport, attended the funeral in County Tipperary this lunchtime of Billy Quinn, the former All-Ireland winning hurler and father to Irish footballing legend Niall Quinn.

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Giving the eulogy in St. Mary’s Church in the town of Killenaule Niall described his father as ‘A man for all seasons’ and ‘a great father and husband who had a very strong faith.’

He told of how his parents eloped to Dublin to get married in the late fifties and then took the ‘cattle-boat’ to Holyhead and onto England so that his mother could teach as a married woman.

“We, his family, are so happy they made that move. Theirs is a true love story, an inspiration to us all, and I believe it will continue when they are reunited again,” said the former Republic of Ireland International.

A flag from the Faughs GAA club in Templeogue, for whom Billy played for many years, was draped over the coffin.

Amongst the mourners in attendance were Mick Byrne, the physio of the Republic of Ireland side during the Jack Charlton era.

Also in Killanuale this morning were former Cork hurler and now Sunday Game pundit Tomas Mulcahy, Kerry Football great Seanie Walsh and Munster and Ireland Rugby icon Mick Galwey.

Brother Kevin Crowley, CEO of the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People also came to pay his respects as did Tipperary North TD Michael Lowry, Fine Gael TD for Wicklow Andrew Doyle and hotelier Louis Fitzgerald. 

The Irish Independent’s Vincent Hogan was also in attendance.

At the start of Billy Quinn’s funeral mass his grandchildren brought to the altar a medal and flag from his early club GAA days in Tipperary, a hurl to symbolize their grandfather’s love for and great achievements in the game, a calculator to remind the congregation of Billy’s amazing mathematical skills, his old radio from which he learned many songs to entertain and finally a lighted candle to represent his strong religious faith. 

An emotional Niall Quinn along with his mother Mary and sisters Rosaleen, Gerry and Anne Marie thanked all those who helped their father in his last days including “the girl who took the initial 999 call when my dad became ill ten days ago. Your calmness really helped.”

Mr Quinn was buried in Ballinure Cemetery this afternoon.

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