Colm Quinn’s death provoked an online outpouring of sadness from several hundred of those who had encountered him, both as children and as adults.
He had become a familiar face to generations of funfair goers at Barry’s amusement park in Portrush, having worked there from his teens until his death last Sunday, aged 79.
One of seven children of shoemaker Patrick and housewife Catherine, he was born outside Castlerock on February 14, 1935.
He attended the schools of Hazlett and St John’s, Coleraine, leaving aged around 14.
He worked variously as a fishmonger, a waiter at a fancy hotel in Leamington Spa (where he had the experience of serving Anthony Eden and Stirling Moss), and as a tramworker in the English midlands – returning to Northern Ireland to work at Barry’s during the summer.
He was ;ater put in charge of the carousel horses,
His brother Thomas, who also worked at Barry’s for about 24 years, said: “He just loved that place. He used to go down at 6am. He was there all the time”.
He never took a day off sick in over 60 years with the park, but last summer he began feeling out-of-sorts.
Upon going to the hospital he was discovered to have cancer. He died five weeks later at Dalriada on January 18.
He had never smoked, and virtually never drank.
His funeral was at 11am on Wednesday 21, at Ivan Murdock Funeral Home in Coleraine, with interment in Ballywillan Cemetery in Portrush.
He is survived by Thomas, sisters Kathleen and Bernadette, daughter Coleen, grandson Adam and widow Mary, whom he had met in Morelli’s, Portrush, and married in the 1960s.