Mickey Martin – In Focus: Episode 153

Leitrim sporting legend Mickey Martin talks to Breifne Earley about his life and times in and out of the green and gold jersey.

Never one to court the limelight, even during his playing days, Mickey was awarded with the Hall of Fame award at the 2019 Leitrim Sports Star Awards in Lough Rynn Castle a few weeks ago.

During this conversation, Martin talks about his early days growing up in Carrick on Shannon. Right up to captaining Sheemore Gaels to win the Leitrim Senior Football Championship at 18 years of age in 1974.

He also discusses making his first inter county championship appearance on the same day Packie McGarty made his last, the only time the two would grace the same championship stage.

While Martin’s time in green and gold wouldn’t be directly associated with the Connacht Finals of the late 1950’s or the joys of 1994 he was the shining light of the lull between those two successes.

A replacement all star in 1977, where he filled Pat Spillane’s jersey for the actual fixture played in America, he was also selected for the first ever Irish International (Compromise) Rules series against Australia in 1984 where he was deemed to be one of the players of the series, despite having his nose broken in the second game of the series.

While major success with Leitrim wasn’t to come his way there was Connacht U21 success for the first ever time (1977) and an All Ireland ‘B’ win (1990) to book end his county career which all came to an end abruptly at the age of 35 in 1991/2 just as the county team’s star was on the rise.

His club career with St. Mary’s followed a similar path with that 1974 success as part of Sheemore Gaels being book ended by the County Championship and Connacht Club Final Appearance with St. Mary’s in 1995.

Equally adept in other sporting codes Martin discusses his love for sport of all kind and how his Leitrim roots always held firm wherever he found himself in the world.

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