Christopher ‘Kit’ Martin (1898-1974)

christopher-kit-martin

Christopher Martin was born in 1898 at the family home in Island Villas in Dublin’s south inner city. He joined the Fianna at its foundation in 1909 along with his brother, Eamon Martin, who was later Fianna Chief of Staff. He took part in the Howth gunrunning in 1914.

On Easter Saturday 1916 he was stationed at Liberty Hall until Easter Monday, when he was called up for duty for the Magazine Fort Attack. Following the mission, he fought with the Marrowbone Lane Garrison until the Thursday when he was sent with a dispatch to Con Colbert’s sister’s house where he was subsequently cut off from his unit.

6446515361_f34f7f88f5_bMagazine Fort Dublin

He remained a member of the Fianna until 1920, when he ceased service. In 1922, he joined the National Army and was part of the unit that took over Beggars Bush Barracks from the British Army. However he soon became disillusioned with his decision to take the Pro-Treaty side, particularly as his brother, and many other former Fianna comrades were holed up in Mountjoy prison as Anti-Treaty Republicans. The final straw for Christopher came on the eve of Erskine Childers execution, 23 November 1922, when having had enough, he just walked right out of the barracks and effectively resigned his position. Despite shifting his allegiances, he took no part in any further hostilities or action in the Civil War, which had still several months to run.

During the 1939-45 Emergency, he was a member of the 26th Battalion, which included many Fianna Eireann veterans.

He was a former President of the North Dublin branch of the Old Fianna Veterans Association.

He was a founder member of Home Farm Football Club in 1928.

He died in Mercer’s Hospital on 25th August 1974 and is buried at Balgriffin Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Margaret Martin (Nee Dunne), who he married in January 1919, and six children.

He lived in Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge in 1916. He was employed as a boilerman during this period and in later years worked for the ESB. He lived in Clontarf at the time of his death.

Research and text by Eamon Murphy

Photograph of Christopher Martin (c) Eamon Murphy Fianna Archives

Magazine Fort image source: Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/23885771@N03/6446515361

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