Friday 22 September 2017

Heart disease and fluid on lungs caused Foley death

Anthony Foley. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Anthony Foley. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Jane O'Faherty

Munster rugby coach Anthony Foley died as a result of acute pulmonary oedema caused by heart disease, a French coroner's report has found.

The 42-year-old today begins his final journey home from Paris, where he died last weekend as the team prepared for a match against Racing 92.

The public prosecutor of Nanterre, who carried out the investigation to determine the cause of his death, said that a problem with cardiac arrhythmia led to an acute oedema of the lungs.

Pulmonary oedema means that excess fluid collects around the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

Mr Foley was found dead in his room at a Novotel in Paris on Sunday after he failed to show up for a scheduled team meeting at 9am.

The prosecutor's report added that the death of the father-of-two, who won 62 caps for Ireland, could have been linked to a "cardiac problem".

Other tests, such as toxicology reports, are still underway. Those results are expected to be known in the coming weeks.

Read more: Munster confirm they are planning for Saturday's Champions Cup clash against Glasgow as they release heartfelt statement

The prosecutor has issued a burial permit following the conclusion of the post-mortem.

Mr Foley's remains are to be flown home to Shannon Airport today and will be brought to his family home in Killaloe, Co Clare.

His remains will lie in repose at St Flannan's Church, Killaloe, from 1pm to 8.30pm tomorrow.

A statement on behalf of the family last night said: "People intending on paying their respects to Anthony are asked to attend early. House afterwards is private."

His funeral will take place at 12pm on Friday at St Flannan's Church. He will be buried in Relig Núa Cemetery, Killaloe.

Meanwhile, Shane Logan, CEO of Ulster Rugby, has revealed the province hopes to have a permanent memorial plaque for Foley placed in the away changing room by the time Munster visit the Kingspan Stadium next weekend.

Mr Logan said he was keen to reciprocate a gesture made by his Thomond Park counterpart Garret Fitzgerald following the tragic passing of Ulster player Nevin Spence four years ago.

"When Nevin Spence died, pretty much the first person on the phone to me was Garrett Fitzgerald," explained Logan.

"He asked if it would be okay for Munster to permanently put a plaque into the away dressing room. We would hope to be able to do the same thing for Anthony Foley.

"I will contact Garrett this week just to confirm that with him. We'd like to have it in place for our game (on October 28).

"We more than most know the tragedy of having a life cut short with Nevin four years ago so I hope that we are well placed to provide sympathy and support in the same way that they did, after his death."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport