Late Gus Martin to be honoured

Augustine (Gus) Martin, Ballinamore native, Author, Scholar, Broadcaster and Senator will be commemorated next Friday, August 17 when a plaque with his name is unveiled.

Augustine (Gus) Martin, Ballinamore native, Author, Scholar, Broadcaster and Senator will be commemorated next Friday, August 17 when a plaque with his name is unveiled.

Gus Martin (1935- 1995) was an Irish academic, Anglo-Irish scholar, teacher, writer and literary critic. During his career he was a Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature at University College Dublin, Artistic Director of the abbey Theatre Dublin and was an elected member of Seanad Eireann.

Gus was born and attended national school in Ballinamore before he went to boarding school in Co Tipperary. He was a teacher first before joining the English department at UCD as a lecturer specialising in Anglo-Irish literature and was subsequently involved with the redrawing of the schools’ English literature curriculum as a founder member of the Association for Teachers of English.

Gus Martin won a Jacobs Award in 1968 for presenting Telefís Scoile programmes about English literature for Raidió Teilifís Éireann. In 1973 he was elected to the Irish Senate under the “universities panel” and re-elected in 1977 to serve until 1981. In 1979 he succeeded Roger McHugh as Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature, at UCD.

He was Chairman of the Yeats International Summer School from 1978 to 1981 and subsequently founded the Yeats Winter School and the Joyce Summer School at Newman House. In 1983, he was appointed to the Board of the Abbey Theatre (the Irish national theatre), and in 1985 was appointed Chairman.

Gus Martin died on the 16 October 1995, aged 59. At the time of his death he was working on a biography of the Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh.

He was involved in editing a number of books including ‘Soundings,’ ‘WB Yeats,Collected Poems’, ‘James Joyce: the artist and the labyrinth’ and an anthology of his essays was published posthumously:’Bearing witness: essays on Anglo-Irish ‘edited by Anthony Roche.

Leitrim County Library in conjunction with the Martin Family have organised the event at High Street, Ballinamore on August 17 at 5.30pm. After the unveiling there will be a discussion on the life and works of Gus martin in Leitrim County Library.