‘He got a terrible slag’ – Micheál Martin recalls the reaction when his son’s photo went viral

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told how his son “got a terrible slag” and “dunk for cover” after a picture of him went viral in 2018 because of his good looks.

The dashing Cork footballer was pictured with his family alongside father Micheál at a polling station and many on social media have been captivated by his good looks.

In a candid interview yesterday, the Taoiseach admitted that his elder “got a terrible slag” for it.

In conversation with Doireann Garrihy on laugh of your life Podcast host Mr Martin said of the reaction: “[He got]a terrible slag from teammates at the time. I think it started because the issue of marriage equality came up and my assistant came into the voting booth and just took a pretty innocent snap and posted it and it went viral.

“He was away for the weekend. So I think he took cover in Kerry.”

Mr Martin said, precisely because he’s from Cork, ‘one is born with a sense of humor’ but ‘if you have any ideas they will bring you to the right size’.

Born into a family of five, Taoiseach – who has a twin brother named Padraig – said the children grew up hearing stories about his father’s boxing exploits and his close relationship with legendary Cork hurler Christy Ring.

He said the house was full of humor and growing up he recalls being “laughed at” for his “lack of” skill on the hurling court.

“My mother always said I was the compromise person and I didn’t like conflict, fighting or rowing,” he said.

Mr. Martin once said he was trying to break up an argument between his friends and another group of college students by saying, “Guys, is life worth it all?”

However, this intervention backfired and became a running gag, with his friends regularly quoting “is life worth it all” back at him.

“It wasn’t seen as the smartest or most insightful intervention,” he said.

His public life is something Mr Martin said his children grew up with, but he has warned his family to be careful on social media and to “off Twitter” on occasion.


Family Values: A Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and his wife Mary with their son, Nemo Rangers captain Micheal Aodh Martin and the trophy after the 2020 Cork County Senior Club Football Championship final match between Castlehaven and Nemo Rangers at the Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

In March 2004, Mr. Martin led the introduction of the smoking ban while he was Secretary of Health.

Before his introduction, he said he took officers from his department on an unusual “bar crawl” in New York City, where the ban was already in place.

“We went to New York and I started working in the pubs. So I talked after a young Tipperary boy [the bar] and said, “How did the smoking ban go here?” ‘The first month was difficult,’ he said, ‘it’s been a dream ever since’.”

Mr Martin said he had the “last laugh” because fears the smoking bans would hurt the pub trade have ultimately proved wrong.

Last year, Micheál Martin spoke openly about the tragic loss of his two children, Ruairí, who died when he was five weeks old, and Léana, who died when she was seven years old.

During the podcast interview, he said, “There are times when you lose someone and we lost Ruairí and Léana, you actually think you’ll never laugh again.”

“I remember when Ruairí died it was cot death and I always remember that we got a lot of supportive comments and callers and people who wrote to us.

“I remember reading a letter one morning from a teacher who had been through something similar, and I’ll say this in case anyone in a similar situation is listening, at the end of the letter it said, ‘Don’t worry, you will smile again’.

“It seemed strange to read and I didn’t believe it when I read it, but it’s true.

“You’re learning to smile again and you will smile again, but at this point you have no sense that you ever will.” ‘He got a terrible slag’ – Micheál Martin recalls the reaction when his son’s photo went viral

Fry Electronics Team

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