Des was a classmate and life-long friend of Michael Hartnett and has an intimate and encyclopedic knowledge of the town and the haunts favoured by the poet.
After sitting his Leaving Cert in St. Ita’s Secondary School in Newcastle West, Des went to UCD and qualified as a Secondary teacher and taught in Kenya before coming back to take up a position in his former alma mater.
He went on to become Principal of the school in the early eighties and after the death of Jim Breen he assumed the role of Manager.
He was, along with Sr. Dominica (R.I.P.) and others, instrumental in securing the new state of the art secondary school, Scoil Mhuire agus Ide, for the town, which opened its doors in 1992.