Published Monday, 20 August 2012
Olly's tall figure, striding out in wellies and well-worn Barbour jacket would have been a familiar and very welcome sight to most of the people who lived alongside the River Faughan.
The Faughan was one of Olly's obsessions and he spent a lot of his time, as man and boy, exploring it and the countryside on either bank from its source in the Sperrins down to where it entered the Foyle.
He was, of course, an expert angler and was chairman of the Faughan Anglers Association for many years, but Olly's interests and expertise extended far beyond fishing.
He was one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met and whether the conversation strayed across geography, history, biology, folklore, botany, or even medicine - he was a highly qualified lecturer in nursing studies - you could be sure that Olly would have a well informed and enlightening opinion on the matter, which he would deliver in that very distinctive, deep rumbling voice of authority.
I learnt a great deal from Olly over the years we worked together on radio and television and, of course, we became very good friends.
So he's usually in my thoughts when I'm standing in front of the camera, never more so than when I stood in Park recently on the banks of the River Faughan.