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Frank Quinn was born on the 21st April 1952 at 2 Coates Place in the Divis Street area of West Belfast. He was baptised in St Mary’s Church, Chapel Lane and went to Christian Brother’s Primary School in Divis Street. Frank was one of six children to Tommy and Grace. Frank had three sisters; Irene, Annette and Marion and two brothers; Liam and Pat.
Having moved to the Ravenhill Road with his family, Frank attended St Augustine’s School. To say that he attended the school might be slightly overstated as Frank and his best friend Charlie McReynolds would often go mitching. As a result, the truant officer would call at the family home and Frank would find himself in big trouble with his da.
Frank had many friends and loved life, he was a practical joker and full of fun. He was a keen supporter of Glasgow Celtic and Everton. He fancied himself as a good Mouth Organ Player, forever playing his favourite tune – The Red River Valley.
Frank met Ann when they were young. Ann was from the Pound Loney area of West Belfast. They were married when they were both 17 in St Peter’s Catherdal. Their daughter Angela was born soon after. Frank, Ann and Angela settled in to family life. After living in a few houses they were offered a flat in Moyard. With a new home and their second child on the way, the young family were blissfully happy.
Tragedy struck on the 9th August 1971. Frank went to the aid of Father Hugh Mullan, a local neighbour and Priest who had been shot. In his attempts to help, Frank was fatally shot by a solider from the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.
Such a tradegy left Frank’s family devastated. His parent’s lives were never to be the same, their hearts were broken. As Frank’s parents lived in a mixed religion community and with the sectarian attitudes of his parent’s neighbours, Frank was waked in the Divis area of West Belfast. As his wake took place, a gun battle raged outside the window. For their own safety, mouners at the wake moved back from the wndows, Frank’s mother never left his side determined that her son would not be left on his own.
As a result of the sectarian abuse, Frank’s parent had to leave their home on the Ravenhill Road and move across the city to the New Lodge.
Ann had to carry on without her husband. Ann gave birth to a second daughter, Frances, shortly after his husband’s death. Frank never got to meet Frances and Frances had to grow up without her father. Struggling with her own grieve, Ann raised two beautiful daughters on her own. Frank missed out on all of this. He missed out on walking his daughters down the aisle. He never got to watch as his family grew and had their own children. Frank has four grandchildren; Joseph, Ryan, Grace and Adam.
Frank’s family will never forget him. There is not a day goes by that they don’t think of him. Frank was a good son and kind brother, a loving husband and a devoted father.