Dad's pride as James Martin becomes first actor with Down's Syndrome to win Oscar

The father of actor James Martin has said his son has "spent his life pushing the envelope" after becoming the first person with Down's Syndrome to win an Oscar.

"I couldn't believe it. I mean, we're sitting at home pumping the air, you know, this is sensational," Ivan Martin told UTV.

James Martin celebrated the win for Best Short Film on stage with local screenwriter and director, Ross White, who rallied the audience of Holywood stars to sing the actor a 'Happy Birthday'.

"That happy birthday thing with people like Harrison Ford and Brendan Gleeson and all the guys singing along... it's one of those Oscar moments that will live on," said Ivan.

Their winning short film An Irish Goodbye was shot on a farm in Templepatrick and has gone on to win BAFTA notoriety and now Oscars glory.

Ivan said: "As he said to me, 'One minute you're up to your knees in mud on a farm in Templepatrick and the next minute you're all dressed up going up to get an Oscar'... it's fabulous.

"He had a genuine conviction they were going to win an Oscar and he said to me 'Dad, that's a great story, it's my birthday and you get an Oscar, it's the icing on the cake' and I said to him, 'You've been hanging around too many journo's, it's a great story' and he says 'But it is!"

Asked what the Oscars win means for people with a disability, and those with Down's Syndrome, Ivan said: "He has spent his life pushing the envelope.

"People are very good at saying, 'You can't do this and you can't do that'... he's done it and he does it consistently."

Ivan told UTV James is now receiving acting offers from Holywood and beyond but says he's waiting for the right script.

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