Here’s a photo from the late 1960’s.   After cleaning the image up a tad, mum’s handwritten comment from below the original photograph in her scrapbook was re-inserted. 

On the left, Aunt May (i.e. my mother’s aunt), then comes my mum’s father (William Neely Quinn), mum, then her mother, then her husband (Richard Mulholland). Aunt May never married.  We would visit her regularly at her little house in Portstewart on the North coast.

It has always been frustrating to not be able to ask mum about all the names in her scrapbooks’ photos.  “Aunt Jeannie” was a name that I would sometimes hear her mention.  As far as I can recall, Jeannie died in the late 1960s. Mum only refers, in the scrapbook, to her death being in April. 

William Neely Quinn, my grandfather, was originally from Maghera, went to Portrush, and ultimately farmed and raised his family in Carrydarragh, just outside Moneymore.  He had 5 girls, in order, oldest to youngest: Annie, Margaret, Eleanor, Jean and Georgie.  The oldest, Annie, emigrated and left for down-under in 1958.  Jean and Georgie followed her in 1965.  

Aunt Jeannie - sister of Granny Quinn in Moneymore


Oh, death, what is thy purpose?
Oh, death, what is thine aim?
That thou should’st sink thy claws in man.
And so his body claim.

Thou art a weird and creeping snake,
The foe of all mankind;
Thou springest upon him from thy den,
And round his body wind.

Why dost thou agonise the flesh?
Why torture man, to gain
The soul thou never shalt receive?
Thy fighting is in vain.

The body goes from whence it came,
The dust receives its own.
And so descends into the grave,
But, Ah! the soul has flown.

And so it takes its upward flight,
The angels hear it sing:
“Oh, grave, where is thy victory
Oh, death, where is thy sting?”

By J.A.A.

Ballymena Observer, 28th March 1924