Well known agribusiness company Quinns of Baltinglass has paid tribute to one of their employees, Johnny Martin, who has clocked up 50 years of uninterrupted service.
From Moone, Johnny previously worked at Copes in Castledermot until it closed in December 1966, he applied to Quinns of Baltinglass.
He was interviewed, successfully, by “the Boss", William Quinn Snr, and thus began his 50 year love affair with lorries at Quinns in January 1967!
The first lorry Johnny drove was an "AEC Rigid" and while it was regarded as a modern lorry at that time, all goods on board were loaded and unloaded by hand.
A ten ton Bedford IST Tipper followed. Having a tipping trailer was like manna from Heaven for Johnny.
Between delivering wheat and barley to a well-known pig farmer in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry to supplying feed mills in Belfast and Omagh, Johnny was known the length and breadth of Ireland.
1978 heralded a new era and the era of the artic! A Volvo, Scania and three Mercedes later, Johnny is still travelling around Ireland supplying bulk feed and pallets of fertiliser and feed to Quinn’s wholesale and retail customers.
Johnny’s little brother Steven has ‘only’ been driving lorries for Quinns for approximately 40 years and still has a bit to go before he reaches the half century.
“However, between the two of them, at least eight million miles have been clocked up delivering for Quinns,” the company explained.
Johnny was also heavily involved in the harvest.
For 20 years, from the mid 1970’s onwards he would abandon the lorry to do night duty on the "Big Drier" in the Station Yard.
Seven days a week during the harvest was no problem to Johnny, except when the Lilly Whites were playing in the Senior Football Championship, for there is no greater supporter than Johnny to the cause of Kildare football.
Johnny and Steven’s mother is 91 year’s young and still hale and hearty so there is no reason why Johnny and Steven will not reach the ten million milestone!
Quinns say they are very proud to have another of its long and loyal colleagues reach a half century of continuous employment.
The company has congratulated and wished Johnny all the best in the years to come.