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Catherine Martin: The Monaghan music teacher poised to become the country's most powerful woman

The big read: When she was elected deputy leader of her party in 2011, she was dubbed 'assistant captain of the Titanic'. Now the former music teacher from Monaghan is poised to become the most powerful woman in the country. Kim Bielenberg reports

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Long march to the Dáil: Catherine Martin canvassing in Dundrum in March 2017. Photo by Tony Gavin

Long march to the Dáil: Catherine Martin canvassing in Dundrum in March 2017. Photo by Tony Gavin

Leading role: Members of the Green Party including 
Catherine Martin arrive for government formation talks. 
Photo by Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leading role: Members of the Green Party including Catherine Martin arrive for government formation talks. Photo by Gareth Chaney/Collins

Duet: Catherine Martin with singer Glen Hansard at St Tiernan’s Community School in Dundrum, Dublin.  Photo by El Keegan

Duet: Catherine Martin with singer Glen Hansard at St Tiernan’s Community School in Dundrum, Dublin. Photo by El Keegan

Rivals: Catherine Martin with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan outside Leinster House in 2017. Photo by Tom Burke

Rivals: Catherine Martin with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan outside Leinster House in 2017. Photo by Tom Burke

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Long march to the Dáil: Catherine Martin canvassing in Dundrum in March 2017. Photo by Tony Gavin

Catherine Martin came relatively late to politics at the age of 34, but ever since she joined the Green Party, she has risen fast - and her ambition seems to know no bounds.

Her friends say that in another life, she could have been an accomplished singer, and in 2013 she had one of her proudest musical moments. As a teacher at St Tiernan's Community School in Dundrum on the southside of Dublin, she persuaded Glen Hansard to present the school with its green flag in recognition of environmental action.

The pair were filmed singing the Oscar-winner's hit 'Falling Slowly' in a duet, with Hansard on guitar and Martin accompanying him tunefully on piano.