Biography of Michael Martin

Michael Martin was born in Dublin in 1958. Although late to academic third level education, he had another professional career spanning 23 years service in the Irish Navy and self employment since retirement in 1997.

He is a graduate of University College Cork and undertook part of his doctorate studies as a visiting scholar at the University of California Berkeley. He is the author of 4 books and two DvDs on different historical topics. He  penned the very popular souvenir booklet “Titanic Trail (Cobh Queenstown)

Having joined the Naval Service in 1975 he rose through the ranks to become the youngest ever person in Ireland’s Navy to be promoted into the rank of Warrant Officer in 1987. He was only 29. During his Naval career he was involved in a variety of areas ashore and afloat. These included the profession of Engine Room Artificer, the running of the Technical Training School on the Naval Base and the operation of the specialised Damage Control and Firefighting Units there. He successfully completed numerous military  and a short advanced course on Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

He served on numerous ships of the Navy including modern patrol vessels and the Ton Class minesweepers. He also served as a peacekeeper doing tour of duty as a member of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. In 1989 Michael Martin played a leading role in the efforts to attain the right of association for serving members of Ireland’s Army, Navy and Air Corps. During the lengthy negotiations that eventually followed with representatives of the government, he was the lead negotiator and strategist.

When legislation and regulations were finally enacted he was the first person in the history of the Irish State to be elected to the position of General Secretary of the newly formed statutory representative body for members of the Irish armed forces. In the course of this career meetings would have taken place at the highest level of Government. His book, published in October 2016 entitled ‘Breaking Ranks, the shaping of civil-military relations in Ireland’ details the emergence of these representative bodies.


Finalist in Cork Business person of the Year.

Made ‘Titanic 100 Ambassador’ for the town of Cobh and the centennial commemorative events.

Joint recipient of the John A Murphy Memorial Prize for best dissertation on an Irish history topic.

Awarded College of Arts, Celtic studies and Social Sciences Designated PhD Scholarship 2007/2008.

Received Cobh Mayor’s Award (overall winner) in recognition of promotional work for the town.

Conferred with certificate of honorary citizenship of Baltimore USA by Mayor O’Malley.

Articles and Publications

Involvement by invitation on radio and television documentaries

Martin, M., ‘Hong Kong Blues’ An Cosantoir, Vol. 48, No.11/12 November

Martin, M., ‘Tactics, tactics, tactics’ An Cosantoir, Vol. 49, No.4, April

Martin, M., ‘Back to the future’ An Cosantoir, Vol. 51, No. 6, June

Martin, M., ‘Manpower shortages: causes and effects’, Irish Defender Vol. 1, No. 2, October

Martin, M., ‘The Quinn exemptions’, Irish Defender Vol. 2, No. 3, April

Martin, M., ‘Rock and roll’, Litani Vol. 23, No. 2, February

Martin, M., Titanic Trail Cobh (Queenstown) a heritage journey across the mists of time
Martin, M,. Spike Island, saints, felons and famine
Martin, M., RMS Lusitania, it wasn’t and it didn’t
Martin M., Breaking ranks, the shaping of civil-military relations in Ireland

Choose From Eight
Different Tours

The Titanic Trail offers a selection of year round guided walking tours and activities to suit varied interests and age groups. Public or private departures can be arranged. Larger groups, including bus tours, can all be facilitated with timings and pick up locations to suit any schedule.

The Titanic Trail range of specialised walking tours include the world renowned Titanic Trail, the Cork City Ramble and the Cobh evening Ghost Tour.

Titanic Trail, Cobh

Titanic Trail, Cobh

Cork City Ramble, Cork

Cork City Ramble, Cork

Cobh Ghost Tour

Cobh Ghost Tour