The death has occurred of Lieut. Colonel Des Hearns, son of famous Mayo sportsman the late Dick Hearns.

Des followed in the footsteps of his famous father as far as sport is concerned and early in his career won two minor All-Ireland medals with Dublin and subsequently played senior football with Kildare.

He joined the army in 1956 and served in the 3rd Battalion, Curragh Camp for seven years. He was then transferred to Dublin where he commenced reading law in University College, Dublin, graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1970. He was called to the Bar in King’s Inns the following year. He served overseas in the Congo and twice in the Lebanon.

Like his father he also had a deep interest in boxing and was Army heavyweight champion in the early 1960’s. A serious hand injury, however, ended his competitive career.

He turned to refereeing in the 1970s and quickly rose to the top grade gaining European status in 1978 and worldwide status in 1980. He was selected as a referee/judge representing Europe in the World Cup boxing competitions in Seoul, South Korea in 1985 where he was acknowledged as the most professional judge/referee of the Championship. He served on the Central Council of the IABA for seventeen years.

In 2016 he was appointed to the board of directors of the Dick Hearns Centre in Ballina, whose state of the art multi-functional gym is under construction at the Ballina Sports campus.

He is survived by his son Colonel Mark Hearns and his daughters Ruth and Lisa and his three grand-daughters Sasha, Rachel, Alanna and his brothers Frank and Vincent.

May he rest in peace.