Rene Patrick Gilmartin (born 31 May 1987) is an Irish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Championship side Watford. He has appeared in the Football League for Walsall, Watford (during an earlier spell), Yeovil Town, Crawley Town and Plymouth Argyle, as well as a spell with League of Ireland side St Patrick’s Athletic. Gilmartin has also played international football for the Republic of Ireland at under-19 and under-21 levels.
Having previous played for St. Kevin’s Boys, Gilmartin joined English Football League side Walsall in the summer of 2005. He made his Walsall debut on 17 September 2005 in a 3–2 home defeat to Chesterfield, and played two further first-team matches that season. At the end of the 2005–06 season, Gilmartin contract with Walsall was activated by taken up one-year option. After signing a new contract, Gilmartin says he expected to fight for the first choice goalkeeper ahead of a new season. He made his international debut for Republic of Ireland under-19s in February 2006. He did not feature for Walsall over the next two seasons, but played for Republic of Ireland under-21s in 2007, and completed his UEFA B coaching licence in April 2008. During the year in 2007, Gilmartin would join Worcester City and Hednesford Town, so he gain first team experience. In 2008, Gilmartin signed another new 12-month contract. In 2008–09 season, Gilmartin would considered leaving the club if first choice goalkeeper Clayton Ince stays on. Eventually, He changed his mind and signed another new 12-month contract at the end of the season. He then went on to play for Walsall 12 times in 2008–09. In 2009–10 season, Gilmartin first team became more increased, having replaced Ince as a first choice goalkeeper. He soon credit the club’s goalkeeping coach, Mick Kearns, for not only making him improve as a player. In October 2009, He soon suffered an hamstring injury following a scan, that will keep him out for three to four weeks. Despite the injury, Gilmartin played 24 times in 2009–10.
Gilmartin was offered a new contract by Walsall on 10 May 2010, but joined Watford on 1 July 2010. He made his debut in a League Cup first round tie away to Aldershot Town, keeping a clean sheet in a 3–0 Watford win. Gilmartin struggled to displace Scott Loach as Watford’s goalkeeper during the 2010–11 season, but did play in all four of the club’s cup games. Gilmartin made his full league debut on 27 September 2011, in a 2–1 home victory over Millwall. On 23 November 2011, Gilmartin was sent out on loan to League One side Yeovil Town until 3 January 2012. Gilmartin returned to Watford on 19 January 2012, having made eight appearances for Yeovil. Gilmartin then joined Crawley Town on loan to cover for the injured Scott Shearer as back up to Michael Kuipers. On 3 May 2012, Gilmartin was one of four players to be released by Watford after their contracts expired.
He signed a two-year contract with Plymouth Argyle in July 2012, and made 16 appearances in all competitions. Gilmartin was transfer-listed by manager John Sheridan at the end of the 2012–13 season, and left the club by mutual consent in June 2013. He returned to Dublin in July, having signed an 18-month contract with League of Ireland side St Patrick’s Athletic. Gilmartin made his Pat’s debut later that month in a Dublin derby at Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland Cup. Gilmartin made his League of Ireland debut a season later, on the 2nd of June 2014 against Drogheda United, when he came on as a halftime substitute for the injured Brendan Clarke. He continued Clarke’s work and kept a clean sheet as Pats won 6–0.
After spending time in the League of Ireland with St Patrick’s Athletic, making 10 appearances in all competitions for the club (1 league, 9 cup), Gilmartin returned to English football by re-signing with Watford on a one-year deal on 25 August 2014 as a back-up to Heurelho Gomes, two years after he first left the club