17/10/2016

Tributes Paid Following Sudden Death Of Anthony Foley

Tributes have been paid to Anthony Foley, the Munster head coach, who died suddenly on Saturday night in France. He was 42-years-old.

Leading tributes to Mr Foley, President Michael D Higgins, said: "It is with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Anthony Foley, the Munster rugby team's head coach and one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era.

"Anthony Foley excelled from a young age and made a huge contribution to the successes of Munster and Ireland, in both his playing and coaching careers.

"Recognised as a great leader both on and off the pitch, he captained the Heineken Cup winning Munster team and represented his country at all levels, including playing 62 times for the senior team, and as captain on three occasions.

He was regarded with great respect and deep affection not just among the Munster rugby fans but by all those interested in Irish sports and those with whom they interacted abroad.

"While news of his death will be received with shock by all those in the rugby and sports world, it is of course first and foremost a great tragedy for his family and close friends.

"As President of Ireland, and as Patron of the IRFU, I offer them and Munster rugby my deepest sympathies."

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has expressed his shock and sadness at the news of Mr Foley's death.

Deputy Martin said: "I want to express my deepest sympathies to Anthony's family and friends at this extremely difficult time. Anthony's untimely death has sent shockwaves through the Munster Rugby family and his loss will be felt at community, provincial and national level.

"Anthony's talent and dedication saw him represent Munster no less than 202 times and one of his greatest achievements was captaining the team to that memorable Heineken Cup victory in 2006. As a player, he spanned the amateur and professional era and won 62 caps for Ireland during his decade long career. He was the epitome of all that is good about rugby and sport.

"Anthony is a huge loss to Munster and Irish rugby. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

(MH/CD)

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