Well known and much loved Sligo character, Martin Ford passed away on Thursday following a short illness at Sligo University Hospital.
Martin was well known throughout Sligo for his poetry writing and views on political life which he often expressed in a very public way.
He regularly participated in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Sligo carrying a placard critical of what he termed were political junkets, the travelling to the US and other countries around the time of the country’s national holiday.
He always believed that politicians should celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
Martin was also a fervent believer that the Mayor should be directly elected by the people. He had great respect for local politics and often ran as a candidate at election time, never quite gathering a large number of votes but certainly making an impact during what would always be a colourful campaign.
He certainly enjoyed the count the day after voting and mixing with the many politicians and party members in attendance at the Gillooly Hall or other hotel venues where the votes were tallied.
He had an often unique take on current affairs but would always make his points in a humorous way and he was never shy to engage with anyone and always did so in a courteous and friendly fashion. He thought nothing of holding a picket outside Sligo GPO or even the Dáil on his own.
Martin loved to debate his point of view and never thought twice in door-stepping any political figure particularly party leaders or Taoisigh on visits to Sligo during general election campaigns.
He was also a regular writer of letters to political leaders not only in Ireland but across the World often receiving courteous responses in return which he would forward to The Sligo Champion.
Martin was also a regular contributor to The Sligo Champion Letters Page and other publications and in particular to many RTE late night radio programmes where he’d text in a comment. And, when he went on holidays, which he loved to do, a postcard would always be sent to The Sligo Champion newsroom.
And, it was through another form of writing for which he will also be fondly remembered, that of writing poetry.
He was certainly prolific in composing verse and he could often be seen walking through the town distributing photocopies of his poems with many local businesses obliging and pinning them to their shop windows. The poems would often cover a diverse range of issues but mostly relating to the topical matters of the day. He was overjoyed when he published a collection of his poems called ‘Spiritual Verses in 2013 and another, ‘Book of Poems.’ Martin was also very proud of his time serving in the Irish Defence Forces.
Martin, who lived at St Anne’s Terrace is predeceased by his parents Sheila and Patrick, brothers Owen, Archie and John and sisters Mary and Nora. He is survived by his brothers Joseph, Eric, Paddy and sister, Breege.
Reposing at The Foley and McGowan Funeral Home, Market Yard, Sligo on Saturday evening from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. Funeral will arrive to Calry Parish Church, The Mall, Sligo for Service on Sunday at 1:00pm with funeral proceeding to Sligo Cemetery for burial after. Donations, if
desired, to North West Hospice, care of The Foley and McGowan Funeral Home.