Friday 23 March 2018

Johnny clocks up 50 years of Quinns service

Johnny Martin
Johnny Martin

Following hot on the heels of long-serving staff member Martin Coleman last year, Johnny Martin is the latest person to have clocked up 50 years of uninterrupted service at Quinns of Baltinglass.

Last year, tributes were paid to Martin for his long service and just months later, his colleague Johnny has achieved the same impressive years in the west Wicklow workplace.

With the closing down of the garage department at Copes in Castledermot in December 1966, Johnny wasted no time in applying to the Baltinglass company for employment and following a successful interview with 'the Boss', William Quinn Snr, Johnny began his 50 year love affair with lorries at Quinns in January 1967.

The first lorry that Johnny drove was an AEC Rigid and while it was regarded as a modern lorry at that time, all goods on board were loaded and unloaded by hand - 'hand-balling' it was called.

A ten tonne Bedford IST Tipper followed and this having a tipping trailer was like manna from Heaven.

From delivering wheat and barley to a well-known pig farmer in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, to supplying feed mills in Belfast and Omagh, Johnny was known literally, the length and breadth of Ireland.

1978 heralded a new era - the era of the artic! A Volvo, Scania and three Mercedes later, Johnny is still travelling around Ireland supplying bulk feed and pallets of fertiliser and feed to Quinns wholesale and retail customers.

One cannot mention Johnny without mentioning his little brother Steven as well. Steven is only driving lorries for Quinns for about 40 years and still has a bit to go before he reaches the half century.

However, between the two of them, at least eight million miles have been clocked up delivering for Quinns, a great record indeed.

Johnny, however has many strings to his bow. For 20 years, dating from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, he abandoned the lorry to do night duty on the 'Big Drier' in the Station Yard, during the harvest.

Seven days a week during the harvest was no problem to Johnny, except when the Lily Whites were playing in the Senior Football Championship. No greater supporter than Johnny to the cause of Kildare football.

Their mother is 91 years young and still hale and hearty, so there is no reason why Johnny and Steven with similar robust good health will not reach the ten million milestone.

Quinns are very proud to have another of its long and loyal colleagues reach a half century of continuous employment and both congratulate and wish Johnny all the best in the years to come.

Wicklow People