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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Richie was a popular figure around town

Published 23/01/2013 | 14:19

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Richard Martin 1923-2012 -- Richard Martin, Hawthorne Crescent, Bay Estate, Dundalk who died peacefully in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on Christmas Eve was one of a family of thirteen and a well known milkman in the town for many years.

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Aged, 89, Richard or Richie as he was known to family and friends will also be fondly remembered by a generation of children who attended Castletown schools for he was a warden or 'Lollipop man' at the junction of Culhane Street and Legion Avenue.

Richie's parents, Patrick and Christina Martin resided in James' Street and later in O'Hanlon Park and sadly one of Richie's two surviving sisters, Dolly died in England just two weeks after Richie.

Like most of his generation Richie started work immediately after completing his primary education and worked on the Great Northern Railway (GNR) and the ESB before he joined Dealgan Milk Products, working out of their depot at the Market Square.

For over 25 years, Richie was a familiar figure round town making his early morning deliveries and was renowned for his efficient and courteous service.

When he retired from the DMP, Richie took over his job as a school warden and became a familiar figure at the Culhane Street - McSwiney StreetLegion Avenue junction, shepherding children from the area across the dangerous inter-section with firmness and good humour.

It was a job that he loved and undertook with his customary diligence for over 15 years in all weathers, a feat that was acknowledged when he was named 'School Warden of the Year'.

In his youth Richie was enthusiastic about his involvement in sport, playing soccer with Dealgan Rovers and he was regarded as a more than useful boxer.

That dexterity on his feet in the boxing ring found an outlet on the dance floor when he took up ballroom dancing and with his beloved wife, Rose they frequented local dances and also took the opportunity to test their talent against other couples when visiting family in England.

Deeply religious, never missing his daily Rosary, Richie was residing in Culhane Street when his wife, Rose who was from Hughes Park died 12 years ago and he moved to live with his daughter, Lorraine and her husband, John in Bay Estate where he became part of the family.

He died after a relatively short illness and will be deeply mourned by family and friends for he was a loving presence in their lives.

Richie is survived by his sons, Patsy (Dundalk) and Alan (Dundalk), daughters, Rita Lennon (Dundalk) and Lorraine Gorham (Dundalk), brothers, Joe (Birmingham) and John (Kent) sister, Julia (Birmingham), 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, sons-in-law, John Gorham and Andy Lennon, daughter-in-law, Geraldine, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

He was predeceased by his wife, Rose (née Lee) twelve years ago and by his daughter, Rosemary who died in infancy. He is also predeceased by brothers, Gerry, Patsy, Tom and Paul, sisters, Kathleen Bromley, May Sherry, Marie Hoey, Dinah Wykes and Dolly.

Having reposed at his home, Richie's remains were taken to St. Joseph's Redemptorist Church where Requiem Mass was celebrated by Very Rev. Jim O'Connell, Adm., Holy Family who had been a great friend to Richie over recent months.

The Readings were given by grandsons, Jamie Gorham and Dermot Martin, while the Prayers of Intercession where led by son, Alan, son-in-law, John Gorham, friend, Tommy Kelly, granddaughters, Andrea Martin, Gemma Gorham and grandson, Alan Lennon.

The Gifts that symbolised Richie's life were presented before Mass by daughters, Lorraine and Rita and granddaughters, Hannah Gorham and Andrea Martin and the Offertory Gifts were presented by grandson, Darren Lennon and Gemma Gorham.

The beautiful music was provided by soloist, Deirdre Morgan and organist Olivia Finnegan. After Mass burial took place in St. Patrick's cemetery and there was a very large attendance at both Mass and interment reflecting the family's strong links with the town and the regard by which Richie was held.

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