herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

George WILL BE A FOREVER FRIEND

MICK HANLEY'S documentary on Kathleen Mills is still the talk of the town. Popular demand ensures that it will be aired again on Dublin City FM 103.2.

Kay was GAA's most decorated performer. Fifteen All-Ireland senior medals.

She was one of the greatest camogie players of them all. She graced the Dublin team when they were on top of the hit parade in the fabulous forties and fifties.

She was also on winning Dublin sides in 1960 and 1961. She was the Inchicore Invincible.

She first held a hurley when she was five. She liked all sports. She'd often go to Dalymount Park. She admired Jackie Carey.

FIRST

She collected her first All-Ireland medal in 1942. Dublin drew with Cork on Leeside. The replayed final in Croke Park saw a day of two firsts as Central Council issued a match programme and Radió éireann broadcast the game.

She won her last medal in 1961. She decided to retire. She was 38. Yet she was playing as well as ever.

The Dublin County Board presented her with a replica of the O'Duffy Cup.

Her husband, George Hill, was also worth his weight in gold. He was born at Sarah Place, Islandbridge.

His mother ran a small grocery shop. It was there that George learned the essence of good business.

In later life, he would wear many different hats. He was a man that could turn craft into shillings.

He attended the Model School, Inchicore, leaving after his primary education. He got an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic before starting work in a handbag manufacturers.

He then began his own leather goods manufacturers, expanding into a number of other businesses. His partner in all these ventures was Kay. They married in August, 1947. Kay died in 1996.

George continued working into his 80s. He passed away this June, aged 92. He was an honourable and generous man. Integrity was his middle name.

One time, a group of camogie players were waiting for Kay outside his premises. He asked them to fill in the idle minutes by doing some work on bags.

They were happy to do so. It only lasted a couple of minutes. But back came George with the few bob. They didn't want it, but he insisted.

His real education began back in the mother's shop. Loyalty and honesty were the currencies he valued most.

In Cork, they remember Kay arriving with presents of handbags for the Cork players. That summed up the Mills spirit.

And George remained a giver. When Kay died, he continued to be a friend to camogie. Kay was a champion on the pitch. George was a champion off it. A couple of swells in dear old darlin' Dublin.

She was on the team of the century. He was a man in a million.

There was a campaign to name the new bridge over the Liffey in her honour.

For Kathleen, George always walked on water.

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