60 years welcoming families to Barry’s Amusements... and Colm Quinn never missed a day
Colm Quinn, who has died at 79, was a man with a passion for the carousel in Barry's Amusements in Portrush where he worked for 60 years without missing a single day.
Colm could operate all the rides and games in Barry's, Christina Trufelli who owns the park with her sister Lisa, will tell you.
But he preferred to be in control of the carousel rather than the dodg'ems or any of the other fun machines. He loved the carved horses and once upon a time even arranged for farmers to collect the hair from their cart horses so he could fashion new tails for his pretend animals.
"He was a beautiful character who worked at Barry's man and boy since he was 15," says Christina."It was a joy to celebrate his 60th anniversary with him last year. He was always first in at 6 in the morning and not just in summer when Barry's was open to the public. In the winter when the park was closed he was here painting and helping to get everything ready for the next season. And talking to Lisa and me about new rides."
Colm. who is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Coleen and grandson Adam, charmed many generations of holidaymakers. If a child ran out of money or dropped their change, Colm gave them a free spin on his carousel anyway.
He was delighted when people who first rode the hobby horses as children returned years later with their own offspring. Colm was Portrush man born and bred apart from a brief spell in England when he was young. But it was in Barry's, his second home where he was happiest.
"The carousel is probably the oldest and most traditional ride in Barry's, but arguably the most popular," he once said.
"I've seen mums and dads who had their first spin as youngsters returning just to relive old times."