MICHEAL MARTIN may not be everyone’s favourite politician in Ireland but few can deny that the Fianna Fáil leader remains a fundamentally decent human being.
And while that might not necessarily translate into the kind of leadership some in Ireland would appreciate right now, it puts him ahead of plenty of other political leaders around the world – including a few quite close to these shores.
An example of Martin qualities as a decent human being came to the fore on social media this past weekend, when a Cork resident came forward with a heartwarming story about the Taoiseach.
IT worker and part-time chef Andi took to social media to reveal how Martin sprung a wonderful surprise on his 90-year-old father-in-law last Saturday.
The story goes that the elderly man had been working for Martin servicing his family cars for several years now.
With the Irish mechanic turning 90 this past Sunday, the Taoiseach decided to take some time out of his busy schedule to send him a gift.
Even better still, he delivered in person, turning up at the man’s door with a bottle of Jameson and a handwritten card on the afternoon of Saturday, May 15.
Eager to shine a light on the gesture, Andi tweeted all about the encounter.
He wrote: “My father-in-law is 90 tomorrow, he’s been servicing Micheál Martin’s family cars for years.”
“Doorbell just rang and opened the door to An Taoiseach standing in the rain with a handwritten Dail card and a bottle of Jameson to say happy birthday and thanks. Nice touch.”
It was a wonderful touch for a man who, according to Andi has “given so much to [the] community, including free repairs and servicing to [the] needy.”
“He’s an amazing 90-year-old,” he added on Twitter.
Martin included a special message for the elderly worker in his card.
It was one that evidently hit home with the recipient as Andi revealed in a follow-up Tweet.
“Father-in-law cried when he saw the message, his faith his loyalty,” he wrote.
“We were cleaning the bathrooms armed with rubber gloves when we opened the door, I'd say he thought we'd taken covid precautions too far.”
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach has confirmed that the encounter took place but has offered no further comment on the gift, with Martin evidently eager to avoid it being branded a PR stunt.