Friday 12th November 2021
Coiste Chontae an Dúin and the Family that is Down GAA, were saddened to learn of the recent death of Dessie Ferguson, All Ireland Winner with Dublin in 1958 and 1963, footballer and hurler of outstanding talent, and in our case the coach to our All-Ireland Junior Hurling Winning Team of 1964.
Dessie's father Liam was originally from Castlewellan and the family never forgot their roots, Liam had won Down Championship medals with Castlewellan in 1924 and 1934 and in fact Dessie was born in Castlewellan before moving to Dublin. Indeed in 1963 when Down met Dublin in the All-Ireland Semi Final two Castlewellan men were on opposite sides, Dessie Ferguson and the late great Pat Rice, it was a unique happening.
In 1964 Des Ferguson answered the call from his native County when he travelled to Portaferry to help the County Hurlers prepare for the All-Ireland Junior Final, he stayed for the week to coach the Team, developing their teamwork and increasing their confidence, they were in great shape to defeat Kerry in the Home Final and then London in the All-Ireland Final. The man had never forgotten his ties in County Down, he was only too willing to help and in 1991 that loyalty was to be tested further as his son Terry lined out against Down in the All-Ireland Final. Terry would like his father go on to be the proud holder of two All-Ireland Medals.
To Des's wife Máire, children Des, Orlait, Terry, Eimear, Conor, Pearse, Barry, Diarmuid, Rory, sisters Deirdre, Rita and brother Liam, we extend our deepest sympathy and to the family circle in Castlewellan and the Gaels of Meath and Dublin we offer our condolences on the loss of a man, who brought great joy to many.