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In 1949, when he was five, his brother Joe brought him to see Shelbourne at their former ground in Milltown. At the time his father Andrew was chairman and controlling shareholder of Shelbourne. He was chairman from 1945 to 1956.
Ollie attended St. Josephs BNS Primary School in Terenure. While studying for a degree in Law in UCD, he played for UCD AFC but his asthma ruled soccer out as a career choice. He left college to work in the music industry, promoting new acts, such as Thin Lizzy and Skid Row and had a club, Zeros, on Mary Street. However, he soon returned to football and became involved in the workings of Shelbourne F.C., the club he supported since he was a boy.
Byrne was inducted on to the Shels board in 1976. Tony Byrne took over the club in 1982 and it wasn't until 1986 that Ollie assumed control again.
In May 1986, Byrne sued the Evening Herald and the Evening Press for libel when the papers falsely accused Byrne and a co accused of firearms offenses. In court, Byrne and a co accused were convicted of receiving stolen cigarettes and had been sentenced to three years at Shelton Abbey Prison. They were each awarded £2000.
When the clubs played again in November the game was held up 35 minutes as Byrne argued over a clash of shirts.
The Paul Marney affair saw Byrne and his club in the High Court when the players' "improper" registration for St. Patrick's Athletic ended in a court case which left the Inchicore club docked 15 points for further irregularities.
In November, a charge of assault against Byrne was struck out after Collins accepted his apology in court.
Byrne was hospitalized in January 2007 for severe chest and head pains. He was hospitalized again in June 2007, which caused him to take a leave of absence as Chairman of Shelboune F.C., and died in August at age 63 from cancer.
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