THERE was an impressive turn-out at last week’s launch of Peter Quinn’s autobiography, ‘The Outsider’ in the Killyhevlin Hotel.
It was not unlike an Ulster GAA Convention, with household names like Derry legend Jim McKeever, Donegal’s Brian McEniff and Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.
The book charts Mr Quinn’s modest childhood in Teemore, his rapid academic progress and career as a top-ranking business consultant, and his abiding interest in the GAA.
There too, he reached the top, serving as president the Association from 1991-’94.
Published by Irish Sports Publication (Kevin MacDermott and Liam Hayes), it was launched by Derry’s All-Ireland star, and four times All-star, Tony Scullion.
His off the cuff contribution was the best received of the night, as he related his genuine shock at being asked to do the launch.
“Others here have Os and A levels”, he said, “but I left school at 16 with a spirit level to work on a building site.”
He recalled sitting up until 3 o’clock in the morning reading the book, ‘and I intend going through her again’, he said.
Sharing the top table with him was Fr Brian D’Arcy, a close friend of Mr Quinn since their childhood days at the old St Michael’s School.
He suggested that but for Peter Quinn, ‘there would be no Croke Park to be proud of’.
He added: “I am surprised at the title, but it’s no bad thing to be on the margins.”
Peter Quinn looked relaxed.
He told his audience: “What you are getting is only half a book.
“First of all the family said there were things in it that should not have been stated in writing, and the publishers then sent it on to the lawyers, and they took out things, so really the book was twice as long and three times as good.”
But, he said he was ‘very pleased’ to have written it, and, thanked his wife, Mary and family for their support.
As to why he had asked Tony Scullion to do the launch, he explained: “He was the only one I knew who had a spirit level qualification, and he was captain of the Ulster Railway Cup team the day in Croke Park when I became president.”
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