herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Write move for Fingal legends

DON'T rule out a second instalment from the Fingal Sporting Heroes collection. The publication is sprinting off the shelves.

Author, Paul Harris, is chuffed with the response. He's an All-Ireland handball champion.

"Fingal has such a rich sporting harvest. The problem was who to leave out," admitted Paul.

Barney Rock was ruled in. "I was born in Finglas, but I have lived near Garristown for 43 years. Maybe some would still consider me a blow-in, but I'm a proud Fingal man," smiled Barney.

The great 'Dully' aka Kieran Duff is there too. And Mick Kennedy. One of the best markers that ever pulled on the blue.

Delighted

Several sports are featured. Ollie Campbell was reared in Malahide. He attended Belvedere College.

They had a ground at the back of the old Cusack Stand. Ollie delighted in Dublin's victory last September.

He was sitting right across from where Stephen Cluxton struck the jackpot shot. Ollie, one of Ireland's legendary out-halves, would understand all the hours that went into that one moment in time.

When he was a student at the College of Commerce in Rathmines, he'd get the number 18 bus down to his club, Old Belvedere, on Anglesea Road to practise his kicking during his lunch-hour.

And, at night-time, he spent so long perfecting his art, the groundsman eventually gave him the keys and told him to switch off the lights!

"I consider myself to be a bit of a student on rugby, but I had never heard of George Thomas Hamlet from Balbriggan, who won 30 caps for Ireland and who is included in the book," reflected Ollie.

"Some of the personalities in the publication are the names I grew up idolising as a child."

The golfing icons include Joe Carr, Harry Bradshaw, Roddy Carr, Jimmy Kinsella and Mary McKenna. Cricket is also cherished in the North County. Joe Caprani is profiled, as is Paddy Neville, who had a unique three-card trick -- he was an Irish international in cricket, hockey and soccer.

The writer, Paul Harris, is a retired council librarian. When he was approached about the project, he didn't have to think for too long.

"Sport has been such a big part of my life," says Paul, who saluted the initiative of the Fingal Local Studies and Archive Department.

Fingal Sporting Heroes stretches back through the decades.

It costs a tenner and is available from every library in Fingal.

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