John Beanzie Flynn was born on the 12th February 1945 in the Rotunda. His family were from Sherrard Street and his early life was as idyllic as it could be for the time. His father was a docker and his mother a housewife and they shared their home with his paternal grandmother. Beanzie’s mother suffered three miscarriages before little Johnny was born and he was, not surprisingly, the apple of her eye.
When Beanzie was six his mother contracted TB and was sent to the sanatorium in Glasnevin. His father struggled to cope with the new domestic situation and just days before his seventh birthday Beanzie was admitted to Artane Industrial School. Some months after he arrived there Beanzie was told by one of the Brothers that his mother had passed away two weeks previously and that his elderly granny was now in a home in the Pheonix Park. Beanzie’s father who had always liked a drink lost his job and took to wandering the streets of Dublin losing all contact with his son. Some two years later Beanzie found out that his father had been found dead in an alleyway off Sir John Rodgerson Quay. He never heard a word about his granny but assumed that she too had passed away.
Beanzie remained in Artane until he was fifteen when he left to start a job as a van boy in the Batchelors factory in Cabra. While in Artane he learned to play the trumpet and played with the Artane Boys band many times in Croke Park. As a thirteen year old he watched as Dublin won the All Ireland with the great Kevin Heffernan in their ranks and this started a lifelong love of Dublin GAA. When he moved to the newly built St Anne’s estate in Raheny in the ‘60’s he joined the local club where he played a little and socialised a lot.
Beanzie is very popular amongst his friends but there is always something bothering him…..