Tributes to former Burney Express journalist Dermot Martin

A popular and highly-respected journalist, Dermot Martin, who began his career on the Burnley Express and remained a passionate Clarets fan, has died at the age of 69.
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Dermot’s long and varied career saw him working for both national and regional newspapers.

His speciality, however, was in writing medical and scientific articles, which he continued to do throughout his life.

Dermot MartinDermot Martin
Dermot Martin
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Dermot, who lived in Poole, Dorset, was a devoted family man who leaves a wife, Sharon, and four grown-up children, Lydia, Dermot, Amelia and Liberty.

After attending St Theodore’s RC School (now Blessed Trinity RC College) in his home town of Burnley, Dermot studied Chemistry at the University of Southampton. He graduated in 1975, and landed a job on Fleet Street as an account executive for a PR consultancy firm.

He then returned to Burnley to embark on a career in journalism, beginning at the Burnley Express where he would meet Sharon Kinlin whom he would later marry. From there, he became the industrial correspondent at the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

A career move took him back to Southampton to join the Southern Daily Echo, becoming chief reporter at the daily paper’s Hythe office. He carried on working there for many years. Dermot was remembered for encouraging young reporters, inspiring them with enthusiasm, energy and his innate ability to spot a good story.

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In 1989, Dermot left the Echo to freelance in London, working on papers including the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph business section and The Observer. He also worked on Practical Boat Owner magazine, based in Poole.

That was followed by an editorship at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Analysis Europa magazine, travelling the globe and attending science conferences.

Dermot returned to the Southern Daily Echo as a sub-editor in 1997 on the day his oldest daughter Lydia was born. He remained there for many years, with a responsibility for supplements, while continuing to write for specialist scientific journals.

On leaving the Echo, he took up work as a consultant in the field of further education, where he remained for five years.

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A man of diverse talents, he then worked in everything from blogging, writing for online publications such as Laboratory News and working as a reporter at the Salisbury Journal. A keen driver, he also worked for local authorities including BCP and Dorset County Council and, for a while, owned his own taxi.

Dermot was a lifelong Burnley FC fan and a keen sportsman who completed the first London Marathon, played football for many teams and played tennis competitively.

“He was everybody’s friend and the centre of all of our lives,” said his wife, Sharon.

Tributes have poured in remembering his kindness, liveliness, intelligence and mischievous sense of humour.

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“Dermot was one of the most resourceful journalists I have worked with, who could turn his hand to any story and was also a kind, funny man who was full of laughter,” said Ed Perkins, former assistant editor and chief sub at the Southern Daily Echo.

“He could light up a room by walking into it and nobody went home after being in his company without feeling cheerful. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”

His funeral will take place on Friday at 10-30am at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Poole. (Family flowers only. Donations via to Macmillan Cancer Relief and Prostate Cancer UK.)

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