In October 2013, we Quinns gathered in a manner that would make Leo Varadkar and his “Gathering” project proud. Huddled in a basement room in The Gresham hotel, we were each given a name card with our parent/grandparent’s name on it. My dad’s preferred name was ‘Bill’ but the family still call him ‘Willie’. We delighted on how many times they could get ‘Willie’ on the same card. My daughter particularly liked the two side panels of ‘Willie’.
We mingled with our fellow Quinn folk, reading names off each other’s chests. When an elderly lady asked me if my father ‘was the big or the small Willie?’ I really didn’t know what to answer. I politely nodded agreement with this elderly cousin who informed me that ‘Our family certainly has an awful lot of Willies…’ Not smirking was made even more difficult while trying to ignore other family members emitting tipsy giggles. After all those ‘Willie’ comments, however, I can only surmise that the only way is up…!