Tributes have poured in to the late Des ‘Snitchy’ Ferguson, a well known GAA player and life long republican.
An All Ireland winner with his native Dublin, Des also claimed Keegan cup honours with Gaeil Colmcille after moving to live in Kells.
In a tribute the Kells club stated: “It is with great sadness that we must pass on the news of the death of the Gaeil Colmcille, St. Vincent’s and Dublin legend Des “Snitchy” Ferguson in his 92nd year.
“One of the founding members of Gaeil Colmcille and a man who served on the first Executive Committee in the club. Des went on to win two Keegan Cups with Gaeil Colmcille in 1966 and 1968. A wonderful Woodwork teacher having taught in numerous schools around the County.
“Des was a proud Dub and was a successful Footballer as well as Hurler with his home club St. Vincent’s and his beloved Dublin where he won two All-Ireland Senior Football Championships in 1958 and 1963.
“Des came close to a Dual All-Ireland in 1952 after winning the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship defeating Wexford in the final, Dublin fell to Cork in the All-Ireland Final. Dessie’s biggest regret was the 1961 All-Ireland Hurling Final where Dublin lost to Tipperary in the dying minutes of the match.
“Des is predeceased by his son Ronan and survived by his loving wife Márie his Sons, Rory, Pearse, Barry, Des, Conor, Diarmuid and Terry, his daughters Eimear and Orlaith and his loving Grandkids.
“Comhbhrón ó chroí le muintir Des agus a bhean chéile Márie. Imreoir peile is iomána den chéad scoth ba ea é agus thug sé iomaí cuimhní spóirt dúinn a bhfuil draíocht ag baint leo.
“Go raibh maith agat Des.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis”.
The local Sinn Féin cumann added their voice to the tributes, saying, ‘ Arthur’s/Kelly Sinn Féin Cumann Kells are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Des Ferguson who was a lifelong Republican and Gael.
We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Ferguson family ,also to his Republican and GAA families.Des was a proud Dub who came to live in Kells and thankfully he joined our local Gaeil Colmcille club.
With his skills, commitment and experience Des went on to win two Keegan Cups with Gaeil Colmcille in 1966 and 1968 which the people of Kells will always cherish.
He was a successful Footballer and Hurler with his home club St.Vincents where he won numerous titles.He won 2 All Ireland Senior Football Championships in 1958 and 1963 for his beloved Dublin.
His biggest regret was the 1961 All Ireland Hurling Final where Dublin lost to Tipperary in the dying minutes of the match.Des achieved so much on the playing fields but even off the field of play he worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help the young people in our community.
Des was just a genius at Gaelic games.His sons Terry and Barry brought great joy to the Ferguson family when winning All Ireland Senior medals with Meath.His son Conor has and continues to do tremendous work for Gaeil Colmcille along with his wife Olivia.
Des grandsons are now carrying on that Ferguson tradition with their dedication to Gaelic games.Des was a very well respected teacher in different schools in Meath and former pupils like Sinn Féin County Councillor Michael Gallagher and former Independent Councillor Brian Curran who attended his classes in Navan and Kells respectively have fond memories of their school days.
Two very proud days for Des was when his son Conor was elected as a Sinn Féin Councillor to Kells Town Council after topping the poll and when his daughter Eimear was elected as a Sinn Féin Councillor on to Meath County Council.
Down the years Des and his beloved wife Máire attended numerous Sinn Féin functions including Easter Commemorations ,Election Conventions ,Bodenstown and Meath Dinner Dances where they would really enjoy a chat with all their comrades.
In 2019 our Meath Easter Commemoration was held in Kells for the first time and we were delighted that Des and Máire were in attendance on such a wonderful day.Máire honoured our Republican dead by laying a wreath on their graves.
Due to Covid 19 it is the last Easter Commemoration that people were allowed to attend.On March 6th 2009 Meath Sinn Féin held our Dinner Dance in the Headfort Arms Hotel.We were honoured to welcome Des and Máire as Honourees on the night with Sean Boylan as guest speaker.
Hundreds turned up on the night to honour Des and Máire and express their gratitude,appreciation and respect for their lifelong dedication and commitment to the Republican Struggle.Go raibh maith agat Des.As a mark of respect Kells Sinn Féin office will remain closed until Monday November 8th.
Funeral details-Des will repose at his residence on Friday evening from 5-8pm and Saturday from 12-6pm.Removal from residence on Sunday at 1.15 pm to arrive at St.Colmcilles Church Kells for Funeral Mass at 2pm followed by burial in St.Colmcille