John Joe Quinn has become an overnight sensation after being photographed in a Galway pub with an alarm clock alongside him to make sure he did not overstay one hour and 45 minutes under the Government's Covid-19 restrictions.
The photo struck a chord with the nation and quickly went viral on social media, while in the meantime the story was picked up by the New York Times in an article 'A Man, a Pint and a Timer Become Symbols of Ireland’s Pandemic Rules’ and had a poem written about it.
This photo is Carravaggio for this age. A visual snapshot of a beautiful scene. Today I write my poem The Man With The Clock.@Pendemic_ie @galway2020 @CTribune @galwayad @TG4TV @rte @IrishTimes @thejournal_ie @rtenews @GalwayPlayer @ByrnesBooks @KennysBookshop pic.twitter.com/aOA0LamkSfAdvertisement
— Rye Aker (@RyeAker) September 8, 2020
Mr Quinn said he has been overwhelmed with all the attention: “I am surprised, with all the people, a lot of people pulling me up in the shops... people I’d never seen in my life, you know, congratulating me and everything.”
Speaking on Galway Bay FM, Mr Quinn said he was shocked to hear his favourite radio presenters discussing the viral photo of him: “I like the radio in the morning, you know, Claire Byrne, oh especially Mary Wilson.
“She was talking the other day about the man in the pub, you know, and then I heard Bernadette Prendergast saying there’s going to be a film out about me the other day, you know, and I said where’s all this coming out of, you know. Everything is a surprise to me.”
Publican Fergus McGinn took the original photo of his customer Mr Quinn at McGinn’s Hop House in Galway and posted in on his Facebook page.