Thursday 8 December 2016

Qualities we admired in rugby hero Axel are shared by his wife

Olive Foley spoke at her husband's funeral Mass with courage and determination while managing a nod to his humour

Dr Ciara Kelly

Published 23/10/2016 | 02:30

STRONG: Olive Foley at funeral Mass. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
STRONG: Olive Foley at funeral Mass. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

There is often something powerful and moving in how people respond to the death of a loved one. And that was the case this weekend as Anthony "Axel" Foley was laid to rest by his family in Killaloe.

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Foley was a rugby titan. As an Ireland and Munster player, then Munster coach, he had a long and successful, but sometimes challenging, career in the game.

But it was Foley the family man, not Foley the rugby player, who was spoken of in St Flannan's Church by close family friend Fr Pat Malone, the parish priest of Clarecastle and Ballyea, and Foley's "true soul mate" - his wife Olive.

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