Thursday 23 October 2014

Former Olympic great Harry Boland dies

Published 22/12/2013 | 02:30

1948 Olympian Harry Boland
1948 Olympian Harry Boland

HARRY Boland, the former Irish Olympic basketball great and longtime friend and business partner of former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey, has died.

Harry Boland, a nephew of the War of Independence hero of the same name and love rival to Michael Collins, passed away suddenly last Wednesday in Beaumont Hospital. From a staunch GAA background, Boland competed in the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Ahead of last year's games in the British capital, Boland recalled his adventures during his time representing Ireland.

"I was studying to be a chartered accountant, at that time they were called article clerks. I was articled into my brother's firm, as was Charles Haughey, and we went on to set up business together afterwards. I had to take my three weeks' holidays to go to the Olympics. It was the first time I was ever out of Ireland. Of course, we were completely outclassed in all our games," he said.

Boland and Haughey met at St Joseph's school in Fairview before going on to study at University College Dublin, and later setting up their famous accountancy firm, Haughey Boland, in 1950.

Basketball Ireland paid a warm tribute to Boland. "It was with great sadness that the basketball community learned of the passing of Harry Boland on Wednesday, December 18. Apart from being an outstanding player throughout the Forties and Fifties, Harry left a lasting legacy in the sport as an administrator and served as President of Basketball Ireland from 1965 to 1968," the organisation said.

Boland is survived by his wife Noirin, daughter Maire, sons Harry and Gearoid and extended family.

His funeral will take place, tomorrow at St Fintan's Church, Sutton, at 11am, followed by burial at St Fintan's Cemetery.

Irish Independent

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