Nicola Sturgeon attends funeral for firefighter killed tackling blaze in Jenners building
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended the funeral for a ‘loving’ firefighter who was killed while fighting a blaze at Edinburgh’s historic Jenners building last month.
Barry Martin, 38, from Fife, died on January 27 after sustaining serious injuries while fighting the fire at the building on Edinburgh’s Princes Street four days before.
Ahead of his funeral at St Giles’ Cathedral in the Scottish capital, his wife Shelley paid tribute to him as a ‘loving’ father-of-two who was ‘driven to help people during their time of need’.
She said: ‘Barry was motivated, proud, and driven to be the best he could be, for himself, for his family, for his colleagues, and for the community and wider public.
‘Being there for people, during their time of greatest need, meant everything to him in his career.’
Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge (L) and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (C) are seen at Mr Martin’s funeral
Barry Martin, pictured with his wife Shelley and sons Oliver and Daniel, died last month aged 38
Firefighters line the streets to pay their respects at the funeral of their colleague who died in the Jenners blaze
Mrs Martin said her husband was a devoted father to their two sons, eight-year-old twins Oliver and Daniel, and said she was ‘utterly privileged’ to be his wife.
‘Our sons could not have wished for a more loving and attentive father. He was a busy dad, transporting our sons to their various activities, and being there for them,’ she said.
‘I felt utterly privileged to be his wife throughout our life together and always will.
‘Our love, admiration and respect for him, will last forever.’
Firefighters across Scotland will attend the funeral. A cortege will begin at the base of the Royal Mile and arrive at the cathedral for the service to begin at 12.30pm.
Earlier this week, firefighters across Scotland held a minute’s silence for Mr Martin.
He was based at the McDonald Road Community Fire Station in Edinburgh and was part of the Blue Watch.
The Blue Watch in all Edinburgh fire stations will be stood down in order for staff to attend Mr Martin’s funeral.
Ross Haggart, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service interim chief officer said: ‘Our thoughts remain very firmly with Barry Martin’s family as we plan to come together at St Giles’ Cathedral to pay our respects.
‘Barry was a much-loved husband, father, son and friend to many. His Blue Watch colleagues and the wider service will ensure that Barry’s selfless duty will never be forgotten.’
Mr Martin was based at the McDonald Road Community Fire Station in Edinburgh and was part of the Blue Watch
Firefighters appeared emotional outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Friday
Earlier this week, firefighters across Scotland held a minute’s silence for Mr Martin
Mr Martin’s coffin was carried into the cathedral with his firefighter’s hat on top
Mr Martin’s coffin was transported on a fire engine during the procession in Edinburgh on Friday
A minute’s silence at Newbridge Headquarters, Edinburgh, in memory of Barry Martin earlier this week
Nicola Sturgeon carried a wreath into St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh ahead of Barry Martin’s funeral
Scottish firefighter Barry Martin pictured with his twin sons Oliver and Daniel
Hundreds of firefighters turned out to the funeral in full uniform
Mrs Martin said her husband was a devoted father to their two sons, eight-year-old twins Oliver and Daniel, and said she was ‘utterly privileged’ to be his wife
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: ‘Our hearts go out to Barry’s family, colleagues and friends, and to all those who mourn his loss.
‘Barry was a dedicated firefighter and a well-loved member of the firefighting community. We are very proud that he was a member of our union.
‘Like so many firefighters, he put himself at risk to save the lives of others.
‘In due course, we will investigate the events that led to his death. Today, we are grieving for a colleague and a friend.’
MSPs, including Alex Cole-Hamilton, have called for Mr Martin to be posthumously awarded the George Cross, an accolade which dates back to 1940 and recognises acts of extreme bravery carried out by civilians.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said they expect hundreds of firefighters to attend the service.
In a statement released on social media, it added: ‘The death of a firefighter is deeply felt throughout the whole fire and rescue service community – across Scotland and beyond.
‘On Friday, 27 January, this community was truly devastated by Barry’s passing.’
The Royal Mile will be closed during the funeral procession with crowd barriers in place.