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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Gerard Joseph Quinn
  • Born 10 September 1917 Gort, Co Galway
  • Died 20 November 1968 Dublin
  • Educated Belvedere College; University College Ireland
  • Occupation Solicitor
  • Debut 15 May 1937 v Minor Counties at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 405
  • Style Right hand bat; right arm bowler.
  • Teams Phoenix

Gerry Quinn, the third of four brothers who played cricket for Ireland and were also to distinguish themselves on the rugby field, was a good right hand batsman, who was a consistent, if not outstanding, middle order batsman for Phoenix for many years. His early years were spent in Gort, where Gaelic games were all that were on offer, needless to say, he, like his brothers, took to them rapidly. However he was only seven when the family moved to Dublin, and, after he had entered Belvedere College, cricket and rugby became his sporting passions.

A valuable member of Belvedere teams when a serious injury allowed, he was an automatic choice for Phoenix from the age of 17. He was to score, in all, 4007 runs for the club in League and Cup cricket, his batting, in company with that of his brothers, Paddy, Frank and Kevin, helping to make the Park side one of the most successful and formidable in the country. Strangely, he never scored a century in senior cricket, a near miss 95 being his top score. He was also a brilliant fieldsman, described by David Pigot (The Second) as, "the best mid off in Leinster." In 1938 he headed the Leinster catches list with 10. One of his best matches for the club was the 1937 Senior Cup Final against Dublin University at Sydney Parade. Batting first, and not restricted by an overs limit, the northsiders totalled 238, with Gerry top scoring with 67. He was well supported by David Pigot (The First), who made 50. Their colleagues struggled somewhat against the left arm spin of Bobby Barnes (4/63). Then Jimmy Boucher got to work and Phoenix were able to lift the Cup with a 68 run victory.

Unfortunately when Gerry followed elder brother Frank into the Irish side he failed totally to recapture his club form. His first match was against a strong Minor Counties side at Rathmines in May 1937. This was a somewhat strange game with both sides collapsing twice on an apparently blameless Observatory Lane wicket. Fortunately for Ireland, Frank Connell was able to show that the track held no demons for him and the hosts had a convincing victory. AT 8 in the first innings and 7 in the second, Gerry was twice caught of the bowling of Lancashire leg spinner Henry Butterworth, playing the last of his five first class matches. The second innings catcher was "Big Jim" Smith of Middlesex, a big hitting paceman, one of nature's No 11s, who was, at the time, an England opening bowler. Gerry's scores were 12 and 2, the former destined to remain his top score for Ireland.

He was in the side later in the season for the short tour of England, playing in the two matches against Sir Julian Cahn's XI and missing the intervening game with MCC at Lord's. Cahn, as has been mentioned elsewhere on this site, was a millionaire who was a cricket fanatic. Lest that sounds familiar (this is being written in March 2009), Cahn played the game himself, was an impeccable host, and no doubts were ever raised about how his fortune had been acquired! He had two private grounds in the Nottingham area, one, where the first match was played at his magnificent mansion, Stanford Hall, the other at Loughborough Road, West Bridgeford. He, rather like Stanley Cochrane at Woodbrook, wanted to win his matches and maintained a strong staff of professionals, as well as some of the best amateurs of the day.

In the first match, at Stanford Hall, Ireland were overwhelmed, Cahn's side winning easily by 10 wickets. Gerry fell for 8 in the first innings, again a victim to a member of the Butterworth clan, though his nemesis on this occasion, fast medium bowler Reggie Butterworth was not closely related to Henry of Lancashire. Reggie was a cricket and golf Blue at Oxford who played 14 matches for Middlesex. He was killed in the retreat to Dunkirk. In the second innings, as Ireland followed on, Gerry stood firm, making 11* as his team-mates collapsed to the bowling of the South African Test player Bob Crisp. Crisp a very fast bowler, was to become a war hero in the Western Desert, his memoir "Brazen Chariots", being good reading for those who enjoy dramatic military history. He later became a chicken farmer in Worcestershire

In the return match three days later, Ireland were well below strength, the ICU Secretary, AE Bex, who was a far from regular first team player for Merrion, having to come in for Donald Shearer who had to return home on business. Ireland were saved by the rain, their first innings having been destroyed by Crisp (6-21). The six included Gerry, caught by former Nottinghamshire joint captain SD Rhodes for 0. Rhodes was a moderate cricketer, but a frequent member of Cahn's team, touring with the millionaire to Argentina, the USA and Ceylon. The match was drawn with no play possible on the second day. Gerry was not to play for Ireland again.

At Belvedere, he had been equally, if not more, prominent as rugby footballer. This was despite the serious injury to his leg, suffered when he was eleven, which led his doctor to tell him that he would never play rugby again. Of course he did, though his enforced break lasted for five years. Joining Old Belvedere after leaving school, he was a member of the side which won the Leinster Senior Cup for seven successive seasons between 1940 and 1946, not bad for a club that had just attained senior status. Gerry, captain in 1944, also gained unofficial caps for Ireland in the war time matches against the British Army and also in two Victory Internationals in 1946.

The war probably robbed him of the opportunity to precede his brother Kevin into the ranks of double internationals.

Gerry, who had a very happy marriage to Elaine whom he had met when they were both UCD students, was a very successful solicitor. A thoroughly modest and devout man, he attributed his business success to his mother's prayers. He died, seven months to the day after Paddy the eldest of the remarkable brotherhood, while playing tennis with fellow double international Mick Dargan and Karl Mullen, then the only man to have led the Irish XV to a Grand Slam. Gerry was only 51. Some forty years later, his daughter Mrs Lorraine Lyons, writing in the book "Belvedere Rugby Heroes" summed up his philosophy about cricket, rugby and all the other games he played: "Sport is just that - sport: to try hard, to do one's best, to relish the moment and to relish the friendships along the way."