‘If the last year has taught me anything it is that life is for living’

It’s been a difficult 12 months for Tracey Quinn Ginty, having lost her dad while working as a critical care nurse during the pandemic. CHRIS DUNNE caught up with her after her appearance on a TV make-over show
‘If the last year has taught me anything it is that life is for living’

Tracey Quinn Ginty from Carrigaline who appeared on The Style Counsellors recently.

CRITICAL care nurse and mother of two, Tracey Quinn Ginty, of Carrigaline, won our hearts when she had a ‘wow’ fashion make-over on RTÉ’s The Style Counsellors, featuring Eileen Smith and Suzanne Jackson.

But it’s clear that husband Niall, who is also a nurse, is her biggest fan. “To me, she was always a supermodel,” he said.

He was blown away in the TV show, when he was confronted, in a fairytale castle, with Tracey’s magnificent choice of dress, her glamorous hair-do and her sexy swagger, courtesy of her killer heels, ahead of a special date night they were planning.

“I wanted to knock his socks off!” says Tracey, 38, who has been working as nurse for 20 years and who works in the Bons Secours Cork.

She succeeded.

“I was gobsmacked!” says Niall.

Tracey was gobsmacked too.

“When I was asked to choose one outfit from three fabulous gowns, I was in a quandary,” says Tracey.

“They were all so beautiful and I’m the type of gal who loves a bit of bling. And all these dresses sure had bling!

“When I chose the feminine pink dress as my final choice, I didn’t get to see it on myself until the final reveal when Suzanne turned around the full-length mirror so I could see myself wearing the dress. I couldn’t believe it was really me!”

Tracey couldn’t believe that she had the bottle to go on live TV and volunteer for her wardrobe to be investigated and possibly be torn to shreds.

“My sister had a big part to play in me applying to appear on the programme,” says Tracey, who tragically lost her beloved dad, Joe, in a freak accident in January, 2020. He suffered a catastrophic spinal injury and died of complications seven months afterwards

“We’ve had a terrible year, losing dad and then dealing with very sick people admitted to ICU due to Covid. In March, when we had our first confirmed case, it was terrifying; it was like going to war.”

Tracey Quinn Ginty with husband Niall and their two boys.
Tracey Quinn Ginty with husband Niall and their two boys.

She answered the call.

“It was very much a call of duty,” says Tracey.

“There was no shying away from it.”

There is no getting away either from the void Joe Quinn left in his family’s lives when he died.

“My beautiful dad was cutting a hedge one Sunday morning, on January 6 last year,” says Tracey.

“He was in the building trade all his life.”

He was larger than life.

“Dad was very powerful with a great presence. He was a real family man. When he fell off the ladder he sustained fatal spinal injuries. He took a turn and he left us.

“Life for us hasn’t been the same since,” says Tracey.

“He was the best dad in the world. If he could have lived off love alone, he would have lived forever. That’s what I always say about my dad.”

What would he say about his beautiful daughter who, with her husband, helps saves lives every day?

“I know he’s always looking down on me and that he’s proud of me,” says Tracey.

Would he recognise this new, vibrant Tracey who has gotten rid of her usual black garments for bright zany ones?

Tracey laughs.

“When Suzanne came to the house to look in my wardrobe, I hadn’t realised how much black clothes I owned or that I was wearing. I never took much notice of my clothes. I just grabbed what was handy to wear every day. And even though there was lots of stuff in the wardrobe, I could never put my clothes together. I never felt right in them, if you know what I mean? And I discovered I was hoarding a lot of dresses I had bought for weddings and other occasions that were totally outdated.”

Tracey Quinn Ginty after her make-over.
Tracey Quinn Ginty after her make-over.

Suzanne and Eileen saw the potential in Tracey where her inner beauty could be exposed, with a little help from her friends.

“They were both so lovely,” says Tracey.

“We clicked straight away and I was blown away by the outfits they offered me to try — it was like I turned into a different person!”

Niall re-discovered what he already knew. He was married to a super-model.

“Tracey is fantastic. She has a fabulous personality and she always puts others first.”

Like so many other busy couples and busy parents, Tracey and Niall often pass each other like ships in the night due to their work commitments and shift work.

“There are two days a month when we are working that we have time together, the four of us, with our boys Josh and Ben. When I’m working Niall minds the kids, and when he is working I am at home minding the kids. It can be quite hard.”

Tracey loves her job.

“The critical side of things has always been my main interest,” she says.

“To see people so sick, and then to see them get better makes you believe in miracles really.”

Tracey, committed to her work and to her family, wants to get a bit of fun and normality back into her life.

Now she’s got her mojo back.

“I sure have!” says Tracey.

“I was in a bit of a rut, just existing from day-to-day. And I think if this year taught me anything it is that life is for living and I do feel that I’m starting to feel good about myself again, you know?”

The Style Counsellors airs on Tuesday nights on RTÉ1 at 8.30pm. Tracey’s episode is available on the RTÉ Player.

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