Tributes pour in for Skye shinty legend Donnie Martin after fatal car crash

Skye shinty stalwart, Donnie Martin, who died in a fatal road accident last week. NO F19 Donnie Martin 02

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All shinty matches due to be played on Skye at the weekend were cancelled as a mark of respect after one of the game’s legendary figures, Donnie Martin, was killed in a car accident on the island on Thursday afternoon.

The fatal accident happened on the A87 Dunvegan Road, at Portree, and police say Mr Martin, 65, died at the scene.

In a statement, the Skye Camanachd club said it was ‘absolutely devastated’ to learn of the death of is club chieftain in the crash.

‘There is no one individual who has made a bigger contribution to Skye Camanachd over that last 50 years than Donnie and his loss to the club is simply immeasurable,’ continued the club.

‘Donnie was first and foremost a husband, father, papa and brother, and our deepest sympathies go out to Alice, Kim and Scott, as well as Alistair, Joan, Mairi and Anne, and the extended family. Donnie was also a great friend to many.

‘All Skye Camanachd activities have been suspended and the funeral arrangements and a tribute will follow.’

Fort William shinty club was among the clubs paying tribute saying: ‘Our sincere condolences go out to Donnie’s family and to Skye Camanachd at this extremely sad time.

‘We have so many members at our club who have been involved with Donnie over the years, be it in opposition on the field of play, or under his leadership at International level.

‘He was devoted to Skye Camanachd and to all things shinty and was respected by everyone across the board.’

Described by friends as a true Highland gentleman, Gaelic speaker Mr Martin worked for the Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association.

Former team-mate and a friend of more than 50 years, Skye councillor John Finlayson, told the Lochaber Times he was both shocked and deeply saddened by Mr Martin’s death.

‘Donnie and I actually shared lodgings together when pupils at Portree High School and were also shinty team mates at many different levels over many years. Donnie was a larger than life character and part of the fabric at Skye Camanachd where he contributed so much,’ Mr Finlayson said.

‘First and foremost he was a family man who took pride in his children and grandchildren’s achievements, and his death will not only leave a massive hole in their lives but also right across so many Skye communities.’

The fatal accident involved a Volkswagen Caddy van and trailer combination and a Vauxhall Corsa.

Sergeant Neil MacDonald of North Road Policing said: ‘At this time, our thoughts are with the deceased’s family and friends. We are continuing with enquiries to establish the full circumstances.

‘We would urge anyone who may have witnessed the crash or have dash-cam footage that may help with our enquiries to get in touch.’

Anyone with any information should contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 1980 of Thursday 5 May, 2022.