Heritage Hero award for Alan

Pictured above: Acting chair of the Heritage Council Michael Parsons with Minister Heather Humphreys and Alan Martin of the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society, Heritage Hero Award runner-up.

A founder member of the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society, Alan Martin, has been named as a runner-up in a major national heritage award.

Martin received the honour out of a group of 86 individual nominees at the Heritage Council’s Heritage Hero Awards in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of heritage in Ireland.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, announced the awards at a special ceremony at The Royal College of Surgeons, Kildare Street, on February 22nd.

Presenting the awards, Minister Humphreys said: “I would like to congratulate each of the heritage projects receiving awards today. The individuals, professionals and community groups, many of whom are volunteers, who work tirelessly to protect and preserve our heritage, are the backbone of the heritage sector.”

The Heritage Council is the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland’s national heritage. National heritage includes heritage objects, seascapes, wrecks and inland waterways, so it was no surprise that Alan Martin’s contribution to collecting and preserving images of local docklands heritage attracted the attention of the awards panel.

Pictured: Jimmy Carthy (RIP), Alan Martin and Audrey MacCready of the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society at the Heritage Awards.

Martin has always had a passion for preserving the industrial heritage of Dublin Docks. Initially, he did this through his own photographs. Then he helped set up the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society, which appealed to locals for old photographs of the area. Martin maintains a website which displays the 3,500+ photographs that have been donated to date. Without him, much of the docklands’ rich visual heritage may have been lost.

Martin, originally a dock worker from Portland Row, said that he considered the recognition from the Heritage Council as “a great boost for the Dublin Dockworkers Society who have put in a lot of work to preserve the history of the whole Dublin docks area including the factories, timber yards, ships, and the dockers themselves.”

He went on to pay special tribute to his colleague in the Dublin Dockworkers Society, Jimmy Carthy, who was present at the award ceremony but who has sadly since passed away.

Readers can register online to view Alan Martin’s work on the Dublin Dockers photo collection at www.bluemelon.com/alanmartin

By Harry Bradley