Anthony Foley’s family ‘overwhelmed’ by outstanding tribute to Munster legend

A memorial stone has been unveiled in Limerick in honour of Munster rugby legend Anthony Foley, writes Stephen Barry.

Foley, who died last October while on duty as the province’s head coach in Paris, will be remembered forevermore with the riverside tribute on Clancy Stand, which depicts him charging forward, ball in hand.

The low-key event was attended by Foley’s family and friends, including his wife Olive, father Brendan and former teammates Keith Wood and Marcus Horan.

“It’s a beautiful location and an outstanding tribute to him,” said Foley’s sister, Rosie.

“Anthony wouldn’t have liked the fuss or anything like that but at the same time we are delighted as a family to have him honoured in this way.

Mayor of Limerick Kieran O’Hanlon, Olive Foley, Brendan Foley, Siofra Minogue, Brendan Minogue, Oisin Minogue, Rosie Foley and Orla Foley at the unveiling. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media

“We have been overwhelmed by all the kindnesses, including this. The outpouring is amazing, not just from the rugby community but the wider sporting community, supporters, people that we will never actually get to thank.

“But we really do appreciate all the help and support they have given us through a tough time.”

Brendan Foley and Keith Wood at the unveiling. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media

Unveiling the memorial, Mayor of Limerick Kieran O’Hanlon said: “This is a fanatical rugby city and county, with many heroes but they did not come bigger or prouder than Anthony Foley.

“Every rugby fan had their own special relationship with Anthony because he was that modest every day type of guy who just happened to be one of our greatest and most celebrated rugby stars.

Olive Foley and Dolores Minihane share an embrace at the ceremony. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media

“Given the city’s relationship with him and the sense of loss that people will have for a long time to come, a loss that pales in comparison with what his family is going through, we wanted to come up with something that the public could connect with and relate to and the memorial stone has done that for us.”

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