| 13.8°C Belfast

Tributes as 'inspiring' NI magician Des Callaghan dies aged 59

Daughter hails dad Des who wowed crowds for 20 years as Mr Majestyck

Close

Much missed: Magician Des Callaghan as Mr Majestyck

Much missed: Magician Des Callaghan as Mr Majestyck

Much missed: Magician Des Callaghan as Mr Majestyck

A well-known Co Antrim magician who performed across Northern Ireland has been described by his daughter as a "deeply caring man of many talents", after he died suddenly last month.

Des Callaghan from Glenavy passed away on August 29 following a heart attack while he was sleeping.

The 59-year-old father-of-six was highly regarded within magic circles throughout the UK and Ireland, performing for more than 20 years under the name Mr Majestyck.

For his daughter Emma (29) - who travelled by his side along with her siblings when they were children - her dad stands out most as someone who inspired others while also being deeply dedicated to his family.

"He would have travelled all over Northern Ireland to do shows. Even after years, people would continually phone up and request him," she said.

"He did magic at weddings, communions, discos. I can't even remember half the places I've been to with him over the years.

"We always had the whole animal menagerie with us. I remember going to magic conventions and staying in hotels and letting the doves fly around the hotel rooms. I always wondered what the staff thought when they walked into the room.

"That was just our normal.

"He met a lot of famous magicians during his time; Derren Brown, Ken Dodd and others.

"I think within the magic societies, everyone will remember him fondly.

"The magician Jessica Harkin from Donegal was on RTE a few years ago.

"Dad performed at her seventh birthday party and she said on TV how she was inspired to become a magician from that.

"I thought how lovely it was that he had such a direct impact on someone in that way."

Des also worked at the Visteon car factory in west Belfast for 25 years, and Emma recalled him performing at a family event for sacked workers who organised the famous 34-day sit-in at the plant in 2009.

While Des regularly graced the public stage, including the famous Belfast Millennium concert at City Hall, and raised money for BBC Children In Need each year, Emma said it was the precious memories of her dad at home taking care of the family, which always stood out.

"He was very kind and caring and had three grandchildren that he absolutely adored," added Emma.

"He really enjoyed just putting on a movie in the evening and chilling, particularly Harry Potter which he loved.

"He adored the clarinet and playing golf with the City of Belfast club."

When asked what foremost memory came to mind, Emma reflected on a particular birthday as a child which seemed to sum up both her father's talent and humour.

"He brought me out to the garage and showed me this big trunk," she said. "He lifted the lid and it was empty and then he closed it and opened it again.

"I just remember this big sea of pink and then all my birthday presents suddenly appearing. It was just me and him at that moment and it was one of my favourite memories ever."

Belfast Telegraph