Quill, Timothy (‘Thady’) (c.1860–1932), subject of a lampooning ballad widely popular in south Munster, was the son of a small farmer from Carrigagulla, Ballinagree, near Macroom, Co. Cork. An itinerant labourer and occasional cattle-jobber, he was tall, exceptionally strong, and a good bowl-player, though otherwise unremarkable. It appears that he had ‘immortal longings’ and that, having done some work for Johnny Tom Gleeson (1854–1924), a Rylane farmer, who was a noted musician and balladeer, he asked to have a ballad written about him as payment. ‘The bould Thady Quill’ is an inspired multi-verse (with rousing chorus) composition in the mock-heroic tradition. It celebrates Thady as inveterate porter-drinker, all-round sportsman, hurler supreme, therapeutic lover, land league activist, and Parnellite orator and parliamentarian. Composed in the late 1880s, the ballad did not become nationally known till the 1940s. It was frequently sung by Jack Lynch (qv), taoiseach 1966–73, 1977–9. There are versions in Irish and French. Thady died on 23 October 1932 and is buried in St Colman's cemetery, Macroom, where his headstone may be seen.
James N. Healy, Ballads from the pubs of Ireland (1965); James A. Chisman, Johnny Tom Gleeson: the author of Bould Thady Quill (1987)