25 February 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Education / Training
Festivals / Markets
Locations Ireland
Post Production
Rep Bodies
Features & Interviews
Production News
Post Production News
VFX News
Animation News
Digital News
Festivals News
Training News
Cast News
Finance News
IFTA Film & Drama Awards
Galway Film Fleadh 2017
List Your Company
Daily News Bulletin
Site Map
Irish Screenwriter Johnny Ferguson Has Died After Short Illness
18 Apr 2013 : By Kevin Cronin
Johnny Ferguson - photos courtesy of Kip Carroll.
Johnny Ferguson - who wrote the screenplay for ‘Gangster No 1’ has died following a short illness this Wednesday 17 April.

A much-loved figure within the Irish film industry, Mr Ferguson had been working on a number of forthcoming film projects including ‘The Magnificat’ and the film adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s ‘The Secret Scripture’.

Mr Ferguson received an IFTA nomination for the 2007 mini-series ‘Fallout’, was nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2000 British Independent Film Award for ‘Gangster No 1’ and counts among his credits ‘Blue Guitar’, which is in production, and the TG4 documentary ‘Pimpernel sa Vatican’.

Producer Brian Willis, close friend of Mr Ferguson, told IFTN of his great sadness at his passing:

‘Johnny Ferguson was a friend of mine. A raconteur in the full sense of the word. Independent in thought and spirit. A dark horse. Freewheeling. No pedals. Over 30 years we worked together - sometimes - but played more times. Writing was his sport. As a copywriter and as a screenwriter. He wrote the treatment for me for a documentary called ‘Pimpernel sa Vatican’ for TG4 and took the life story of a priest, all 300 pages, and condensed it into a two page document that captured the man without losing any of the story in the process. He had the ability to condense without missing anything. He was a three star Michelin chief who reduces and reduces to make the perfect roux. That was Johnny's talent.'

Producer Noel Pearson, who worked with and was friends with Mr Ferguson for over a decade, spoke to IFTN about his loss:

‘Johnny was a one-off, you know. He was terrific. The sad thing is we’d been working on a couple of scripts over the last 5 or 6 years and now he’s gone and two of them are going to happen this year - the scripts for modern fairytale ‘The Magnificat’, which will hopefully shoot early next year, and ‘The Secret Scripture, which will hopefully start filming in October. It wasn’t a producer-writer relationship. We were great pals as well. We killed many a good bottle of wine. Johnny was wonderful. He’d drive you mad. Always late with the drafts but have the most pleasant excuses why and then get it right. He was a great conversationalist and he had a wide knowledge of all sorts of things. He was very interested in paintings and his father Vincent was a huge art collector. You could sound things off Johnny. He’s a big loss to me on many levels.’

Producer Adrian Devane added his tributes to Mr Ferguson’s life and career:

‘I was working on a project with Johnny that he was very passionate about. He was in the middle of some incredible work that we can hopefully still bring to a wider audience and that’s something Johnny would have wanted - that his work would be realised.'

James Hickey, CEO of the Irish Film Board, also expressed his sorrow at the sad news.

'We are very sorry to hear about the untimely passing of Johnny Ferguson. He was a talented screenwriter and his death is a loss to the Irish film industry. Our thoughts are with his family at this time,' he added.

Mr Ferguson is survived by his wife Ali Joy White, mother Noeleen, siblings Ciara, Conor, Paul, Judy and Emma; family and friends.

His funeral will take place tomorrow, Friday 19th April, at 11am in the Unitarian Church on St Stephen's Green.

Virgin Media Television reveals TX date for new access series, The Guards: Inside The K
Disney opens applications for 12-month Studio Marketing & Publicity Internship
Windmill Lane Recording Studios launches new Visitor Experience
Benjamin Cleary’s Debut Feature Swan Song set for Apple TV+, starring Mahershala Ali

Daniel O'Hara, director of Netflix's The Stranger, speaks with IFTN
ASC Award winner John Conroy ISC speaks with IFTN
Free Industry Newsletter
Subscribe to IFTN's industry newsletter - it's free and e-mailed directly to your inbox every week.
Click here to sign up.

Jim Sheridan’s ‘The Secret Scripture’ to enjoy March 24th cinema release
20 Jan 2017 
Irish line-up for BFI London Film Festival
01 Sep 2016 
'The Dead Spit Of Kelly' on Grand Pictures Slate
17 Jun 2016 
Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture begins shooting in Ireland
13 Jan 2015 
Herself and Street Leagues among nominees for annual ICCL Human Rights in Film Award
Vivarium official poster artwork and trailer released
Filming underway in Northern Ireland on Oorlagh George's Stranger with a Camera
First Trailer released for David Lowery's USA/Ireland co-production The Green Knight, starring Dev Patel and Barry Keoghan
Irish Production Companies
Listings for Irish film & television production companies
What's In Production?
The latest info on projects filming in Ireland
Latest Industry Jobs
Job listings for Irish film & television crew

Find us on Facebook
Follow IFTN on Twitter
E-Newsletter Subscribe
Subscribe to RSS Feed

 the Website  Directory List  Festivals  Who's Who  Locations  Filmography  News  Crew  Actors

Contact Us | Advertise | Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Security & Privacy | RSS Feed | Twitter