Messiah’s Army of Apostles -Tony Quinn

Sunday World   August 23, 2009
By Nicola Tallant

SWAug 2309


Messiah’s  Army of Apostles:
THESE are millionaire ‘Messiah’
Tony Quinn’s disciples, the people
who keep the wheels of his empire
turning and who cater to his every whim.
Most have gone unpaid for their work
over decades as the controversial mind
guru amassed an estimated €50 million
fortune from his favourite catchphrase –
OPM or Other People’s Money.
Constantly at his side is Jim Fitzgerald,
nicknamed Lucky Jim, who warms-up clients
for him at his expensive seminars and films
and records every word of wisdom that comes
from the guru’s mouth.
He joined Quinn’s cult in the late 1980s when he
did a massage course and has worked like a slave
for the Educo empire ever since but has nothing
of his own to show for his years of hard work.
The 51-year-old sleeps in an annex of Quinn’s luxury
Bahamas villa but lives a hand-to-mouth existence,
often accepting offers of clothes and meals
from those who attend the mind guru’s courses.
He travels the world with Quinn, along with 62-
year-old former nurse Mary Power who has totally
devoted her life to the former butcher and shares the
two-bed annex on Paradise Island with Fitzgerald.
By day she cooks, cleans and works as a personal
assistant to Tony, monitoring and sifting
through his e-mails and post to sort positive from
negative – dumping anything critical.
She bakes leavened bread for him in the mornings
and regularly caters for the bizarre diets that
he claims to live on for weeks at a time.
Originally from Kilkenny, she left her job and
family to devote her life to Quinn after becoming
infatuated with him when she attended his early
yoga classes in Dublin in the 1970s.
She was one of the first to move into a commune
he set up in Templeogue, Dublin – in a property
once occupied by priests. There he made his quarters
in the former chapel and even slept on what
was once the altar.
He had up to 50 devotees living in the commune,
often going on 40-day fasts on his advice
and believing themselves to be reincarnations of
the followers of Jesus from biblical times.
Mary was told that she was the second coming
of Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ most important female
follower and the first to witness his resurrection.
She moved to London in the early 80s to stay at
his plush home on Ham Haugh Island on the
Thames before returning to Dublin to nurse his
mother Kathleen when she became ill with cancer.
After she died in 1986, Mary stayed on to look
after Tony’s father, Paddy, a former taxi driver
who died in 1993. Once both his parents had
passed away, Mary moved to the Bahamas, where
Tony had settled as a tax exile, and started to look
after his every domestic need.
She has remained there through a succession of
girlfriends and knows Tony’s habits, from where
he likes his armchair to be when he watches his
treasured old cowboy films to the way he likes visitors
to greet a teddy bear he calls Pink Ted.
When he bought his yacht, Far Niente, which is
parked at the marina at Paradise Island, it was
Mary who completed a course in captaining.
At times the entire entourage moves onto the
boat when Tony feels he needs to get away from
the confines of his penthouse and, with Mary at
the helm, they cruise around the Caribbean Sea.
Although she is high in the pecking order in the
Bahamas, Quinn’s lover Eve still has to assume
her place as a devoted apostle. In fact, the 23-
year-old South African beauty, who has been with
the guru for four years, cannot use his personal
gold-plated bathroom and has her own guest room
as he likes to sleep alone.
She too behaves like Quinn’s slave. She carries
his bags, cooks and caters to his every need and
even dresses the way he likes her to. She regularly
polishes the six-foot statue of Jesus that stands on
the stairwell to his bedroom.
Those who knew her before she met Quinn say she
came from a wealthy South African family. She was
educated in the UK where she attended
one of his seminars. She was on the verge
of becoming a golf pro at the time. They
say she totally changed her image to
emulate his idol Marilyn Monroe.
Back in Ireland, a team of devotees
keep the wheels of Quinn’s Educo
business turning.
At the helm are former caterer
Collette Millea and her partner Tom
McKenna, an early disciple who Quinn
said was the re-incarnation of Moses.
Millea was a late devotee who joined
up in the early 1990s and immediately
muscled in as a ‘business manager’ for
Quinn. Her son Thursten Pym now
runs an Educo gym franchise in LA.
Both she and McKenna are the chief
recruiters for the seminars in the sun,
where followers pay between €16,500
and €63,500 to spend two weeks in the
presence of Quinn. Both have attended
a number of seminars themselves.
Martin Forde is Director of the Tony
Quinn Health Shop network across
Ireland. He also runs Quinn’s Irish
Health Culture Association which
offers courses in Yoga and Ki Massage
at the Eccles Street, Dublin, headquarters
and the Irish Association of
Holistic Medicine which sells diplomas
in counselling and psychotherapy.
His former wife, Margaret Forde, a psychotherapist,
runs courses and lectures
students who pay up to €3,000 for their
qualification which is recognised by City
and Guilds of London Institute. Quinn
referred to her as “the Blessed Virgin.”
Both are said to be highly qualified
and have worked around the clock for
years earning little more than small
They have attended many of Quinn’s
seminars raising the money from their
personal finances.
Mum-of-three Aideen Cowman is also
based at Eccles Street, where she
works as a psychotherapist and counsellor.
Her husband Dave and three
sons are also major supporters of ‘the
Messiah.’ Quinn often boasts on stage
how she has never taken a penny from
him for all her work over 30 years for
Blonde nutritionist Caroline
McDonagh runs the shop in Eccles
Street and sorts and sources Quinn’s
bizarre dietary requirements.
Whenever he holds a seminar abroad
she sends out bags of duck eggs, fresh
organic beef and pink lady apples.
Before he returns to Ireland she gives
August 23, 2009 41
his home a spring clean and makes sure
the toilets are pristine McDonagh has
forked out for two €63,500 seminars and
at least two others.
At the Hicks Tower home in Malahide,
Dublin, one of his longest and most loyal
devotees Vincent Hartford lives frugally
as a caterer. Quinn once told devotees
that Hartford was the reincarnation of St
Peter. Those close to him say he hasn’t a
penny to rub together and has fallen into
ill health in recent years. Over the years,
he raised €250,000 to attend his seminars
so he can spend some time with his idol.
Derek Lawlor is one of Quinn’s most
intriguing disciples and the one who
knows him best, as they have been
friends since they were four years old.
He is believed to have overseen the
finances in Ireland and has long been
one of Quinn’s closest and most low-profile
Quinn’s head of security is businessman
John O’Doherty who looks after the
Messiah’s public appearances in Ireland.
He makes sure that he is whisked in and
out of buildings and Dublin airport so he
cannot be approached or touched by any of
his legions of fans.
In Monaghan, housewife Patricia
Fitzpatrick brings hundreds of new devotees
to sign up for courses and seminars. She
attended at least eight seminars herself,
including three costing €63,500 each.
In the south-west, businessman Glen
O’Callaghan is an avid disciple to Quinn.
O’Callaghan even bought Quinn’s former
commune in Howth.
He first attended a beginners’ seminar
costing €18,500 before going on a
€135,000 one-on-one seminar with the
guru in the late 1990s. He has spent
€63,500 on seminars since.
He appears on Quinn’s promotional
video, extolling his virtues.
“Within three months my turnover shot
through the roof from making €8,000 a
week to €80,000 – effortlessly,” he says.
“My ability to use my mind in other
areas dramatically increased.
Automatically, I got peace of mind on a
whole different level.”

6 Responses

  1. I once attended a seminar where he spoke on video. One of his claims was that if one was enlightened enough you could point to the ground and say let a tree grow there and it would grow immediately. i went to the classes for a short time in the nineties. i was not taken in by them and saw through them easily enough. i saw they were only interested in money. anyone who falls or that is in some way deficient themselves.

    the woman who works for him and the man who has nothing and worships him have problems that make them vulnerable to abuse

    i was going through a very difficult time too. but i did not fall for the cult where the cult gets all the money. they would not put that crap past me thoug


  2. Tallant should not forget the sunday world once ran a feature on quinn praising his postal requests. Early 1980’s i think. i read it


  3. I attended Tony Quinns seminars in Howth many years ago and he was treated like a god, I got nothing from his seminars.. it was all about his own circle of friends… the rest of us were made to feel inadequate by trying too hard…. we were subjected to seeing his followers as being the best (those who lived in his houses) shame on Tony Quinn, robbing ordinary people of their hard earned cash.


  4. If it took tony quinn eleven years to achieve a university qualification he must have severe special needs. No wonder he needed all those young women to prop him up and still does ,need them.
    He would have achieved little without Mary his faithful long suffering slave. Not only is she his finance officer,but also duck egg searcher{organic only please}
    fruit squasher ,chef ,yaght driver, cleaner etc.etc.
    Where is her personal life?
    Where is her freedom?
    Does she have a home ,a car,?
    No .nothing. After devoting 40 years of her life to him.
    Is that not abuse of another human being?
    Let us hope that the young Eve will open her eyes to her situation and not waste her life with him- History repeating itself again!!


  5. To read that information is so painful because one person mentioned there was from my family and very close to me growing up.Then got caught up with Quinn early on when going through a vulnerable patch,and abandend her family and parents for ever, only visiting very rarely.
    I have seen her and others on extreme diets -anorexic and hugely fat.
    when i first laid eyes on him I felt he was nothing but a user and an abuser.


  6. Well well well TQ, from rags to riches, you are enjoying your life now aren’t you sipping from your golden goblets in your casa in the sun, having sun cream rubbed on, your food chopped up for you just the way you like it, been driven around from here to there by your special needs assistance, all at the expense of the people who attend your seminars. I hope that people see the life style; their hard earned thousands of euro bought you. Whose life improved because of the seminars? Yours of course not the thousands of people that paid for the seminar.


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