Country unites to salute a real hero
Those who are not rugby aficionados might have been taken aback by the national and indeed international outpouring of grief when news of the death of Anthony Foley, the former rugby international and Munster player and coach, reached us from France.
Of course it was the tragically early nature of his death - he was aged just 42 - and his wife, Olive, and two young sons, Tony and Dan, left behind, that made it so heart-breaking. But as the week went on it was clear the effect on the national psyche was profound.
That effect was largely engendered by the man himself and the life he led, the example he showed. Never the biggest or the most athletic of players, he nevertheless pushed himself into the first rank of sport by his will and his effort. And when he got there he became inspirational through the way he conducted himself and the unstinting generosity of spirit he showed to others.