The wife of the late Anthony Foley said the response to a campaign initiated by her son Tony, 11, following the passing of the Munster and Ireland legend has been an “unforgettable experience of solidarity”.
Speaking after the concluding Mass in the #8masses4no8 campaign yesterday, Olive Foley said the engagement around the campaign “has reflected the kindness of people”.
The final Mass in the campaign, which was initiated by Tony just the day after his father’s burial, was celebrated at Knock Shrine by parish priest Fr Richard Gibbons.
Olive, her sons Tony and Dan, Anthony’s parents Brendan and Sheila, and sister Rosie, all travelled from Killaloe and were joined by hundreds more from Co Clare.
Speaking afterwards, Olive said the campaign will carry them through the tough days ahead.
“We’ve had and will continue to have for a long, long time very difficult moments and days,” she said. “But today was a good day for us and this campaign generally has been amazing.
“Tony came up with the idea and we all supported it on the grounds that it was so others could have their loved ones remembered alongside Anthony. We got such incredible support following what happened to Anthony that we just wanted others to come under that roof and feel the warmth.
“We had people contacting us from all over the world and today at Knock was no different. I must have met everyone in the basilica after Mass and many travelled for hours. Each and every one of them had a story to tell about a person close to them who also passed away.
“We were just so privileged to have so many others join us in this journey and we will never, ever forget that. We offered today’s Mass for all those who died and whose family or friends wanted remembered by this campaign.
“It was incredible. There was such a sense of peace and compassion and Fr Richard’s homily was amazing. It was so kind of him to invite us up and to dedicate this Mass to the campaign.
“What we saw here again reminded us of just how important our faith is and how it is carrying us through a very difficult time.”
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