Markey Robinson was born in Belfast and was a landscape/figure painter and a sculptor. Whilst he was educated at Perth Street Elementary School and at the Belfast College of Art, he learnt most of his artistic intelligence from his grandfather and recognised painter/decorator, Thomas Robinson.
Markey travelled to Canada and South Africa and in 1942 three of his paintings were first exhibited in the Ulster Academy of Arts exhibition: Autumn landscape; Boulogne; Irish Port, 1940. His work travelled around Ireland and in 1948 his artwork was spread out between three exhibitions. Mansard Gallery, London, CEMA Gallery and Gray’s Gallery, both in Belfast.
Robinson returned from Spain in 1969, a fire had destroyed his studio in Belfast and so he returned to Spain for a year and then settled in Dublin. The Irish Independent said, ‘For years before he returned to his native Belfast, Markey lived and worked in a room above the Oriel Gallery, and daily wandered around Dublin dressed like a tramp, searching skips and rubbish tips for boards and paper on which he could paint…. His pockets would be filled with large amounts of cash.’. For some unknown reason, Markey preferred to be paid in cash and it was not until after his death that solicitors were able to trace eleven different bank deposit accounts as well as envelopes of money in his home in Belfast.