Ollie honoured to join Fingal heroes

OLD BELVEDERE, Leinster and Ireland legend Ollie Campbell was deeply honoured recently to discover he was included in 'Fingal Sporting Heroes', a new book written by Paul Harris with the assistance of the Fingal Local Studies and Archive Department.

He was one of three rugby stars included along with Skerries stalwart Jim Glennon and the elusive George Thomas Hamlet.

To Malahide native Campbell's surprise, Hamlet is the most capped Fingallian of all time, lining out for Ireland from 1902-1911, the last three years of which he captained the side.

Speaking at the book's launch, Campbell said: "They say you learn something every day. I like to think I am a bit of a student of the game but, until the moment I opened the book, I had never heard of George Thomas Hamlet.

"I won 22 caps for Ireland, which is a modest total at the time I was playing, but GT Hamlet, from Balbriggan, won 30 caps and is the most capped Fingallian.

"But Paul Harris assured me even the historian in Balbriggan had never heard of him until it came up in the research!

"Some of the names in this are names I grew up with. You see Joe Carr in the book -- the legend of Irish golf, Harry Bradshaw, Mary McKenna, Roddy Carr -- I've met all of them at some stage in my life.

"It is an absolute honour to be included."

The book is available for €10 from libraries in the Fingal region.