Dessie Farrell

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Dessie Farrell
Personal information
Irish name Deasún Ó Fearghail
Sport Gaelic football
Position Forward
Born Dublin, Ireland
Height 5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)
Years Club

Na Fianna

counties= Dublin
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 6
All-Irelands 1
All Stars 1
**Inter County team apps and scores correct as of (00:03, 6 September 2006 (UTC)).

Dessie Farrell is a former Chief Executive and founder member of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) the official representative body for Ireland's county Gaelic footballers and hurlers. A former All Star Gaelic footballer who played for Dublin for nearly 15 years, he retired from county football in 2005 and spent another four years playing with his club Na Fianna. Having won an All-Ireland with Dublin in 1995, Dessie went on to captain his county, winning six Leinster championships, a National League title and three county championships with his club. He managed the Dublin minor football team in 2011 and 2012. He is the current under 21 football manager.[1]

Gaelic Players Association[edit]

Dessie Farrell was the Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), the representative body for Ireland's leading GAA players from 2003 until 2016. A founder member in 1999, Farrell has been a driving force in the development of the organisation which now has over 2,300 current playing members and a growing past player membership. In November 2000, the GPA's first annual general meeting took place in Killarney Co. Kerry, where Farrell was elected as Chairman. At the same inaugural event, former Kerry star Séamus Moynihan was elected Secretary, former Clare hurling star Jamesie O'Connor was elected President and Ciarán McArdle was elected Treasurer. Appointed CEO in 2003, Farrell oversaw the rapid growth of the organisation and helped negotiate Government funding for players in 2007. He was the players representative on the GAA's Central Council for five years and was also the lead negotiator in the GPA team which reached a formal agreement with the GAA in 2009; the GPA was ratified as the official representative body for county players at GAA Congress 2010. A long-term comprehensive agreement between both bodies was reached in November 2010 which now provides annual funding for the GPA's Player Development Programme designed to assist amateur county players with their off-field careers. Farrell stepped down as CEO of the GPA in December 2016.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Dessie Farrell made his senior championship debut for Dublin against Offaly on May 31,[3] 1992 in Tullamore and went on to appear in an All-Ireland final later that season. A talented minor footballer who reached an All-Ireland minor final in 1988, Farrell had been called onto the senior panel in 1990 but suffered a serious setback when he ruptured his cruciate knee ligament in a club game and missed Dublin's epic series against Meath in 1991. However, having returned to action, he went on to enjoy an illustrious career in the famous blue jersey, winning an All-Ireland senior title, six Leinster Championships, a National League and also captaining the side for three years. He scored a total of 67 (3-58) points for Dublin in championship football. One of the high points of his career was his performance against Meath in the 1995 Leinster final where Dublin defeated their arch rivals Meath by ten points. Dublin went on to land their first All-Ireland title since 1983, with Dessie once again prominent in the final where he scored four points.

Farrell won an All-star, at centre-forward, for his role in Dublin's All Ireland win in 1995. He has six Leinster Senior Football Championship medals for Dublin, which he received in 1992, '93, '94, '95, 2002 and 2005 as well as a Leinster Minor and NFL title.[4] As a Dublin Senior footballer he played under seven different management teams, Gerry McCaul, Paddy Cullen, Pat O'Neill, Mickey Whelan, Tommy Carr, Tommy Lyons and Paul 'Pillar' Caffrey.

As well as representing Dublin football at Minor, U21 and Senior levels, he also captained the Dublin U21 hurlers in 1992. He was educated at St. Vincent's C.B.S., Glasnevin.

Detailed account of his playing career are recorded in his autobiography which was released on 30 November 2005, the same night that he announced his official retirement from inter-county football. The book entitled Dessie Tangled Up In Blue was co-written with Seán Potts. Farrell was named on the 2006 Dublin Bus/Evening Herald Blue Star football XV as a substitute.[2]

Football management[edit]

After retiring from county football in 2005, Farrell was appointed as lead coach for a Dublin Football Development Squad before becoming Minor Football manager in 2011. After winning the Leinster championship, he led his team to an All-Ireland final in his first year where they lost narrowly to Tipperary in an epic final. He later went on to manage the Dublin minors to all-Ireland victory against Meath at Croke Park in September 2012. He left his position as minor manager after the final and was eventually ratified as the under 21 manager in November 2012.


Farrell played Hockey for Ireland at international level. He continued to play throughout his Dublin career[3]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Dessie Farrell to step down as GPA chief executive". RTE News. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Tangled up in Blue
  4. ^ 1995_Football

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Keith Barr
Dublin Senior Football Captain
Succeeded by
Coman Goggins