Saturday 10 December 2016

Rugby stars pay respects as remains of Munster legend Anthony Foley arrive at church in Killaloe

Published 20/10/2016 | 13:59

Anthony Foley's remains arrived at St Flannan's Church
Anthony Foley's remains arrived at St Flannan's Church
(left to right) Michael Keaney, Keith Wood, Joe Schmidt and Andy Farrell arrive to view the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley in repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe in Co Clare
Paul O'Connell at the removal of Anthony Foley in Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Paul O'Connell and his wife Emily, Jerry Holland and Declan Kidney at the removal of Anthony Foley in Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt with Michael Kearney, Greg Feek and Richie Murphy at the removal of Anthony Foley at Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Jerry Holland and Declan Kidney at the removal of Anthony Foley in Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Members of the Leinster rugby team at the removal of Anthony Foley at Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt with Michael Kearney, Greg Feek and Richie Murphy at the removal of Anthony Foley at Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Les Kiss with Joe Schmidt at the removal of Anthony Foley in Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Alan Kelly at the removal of Anthony Foley at Killaloe. Pic:Mark Condren 20.10.2016
Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen (left) as the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley is brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe
People wait in line to view the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley in repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe in Co Clare

Thousands of mourners have filled the town of Killaloe to pay tribute to their legendary son, Anthony Foley.

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The grief-stricken rugby community came together as a family to mourn one of their own.

Amongst those who attended were Ireland coach Joe Schmidt who was the first to pay his respects to the family.

Read more: Munster reveal the special tribute they will pay to Anthony Foley ahead of Saturday's clash with Glasgow

Munsters Keith Wood (right) welcomes Connacht Rugby head coach Pat Lam as the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley is brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe
Munsters Keith Wood (right) welcomes Connacht Rugby head coach Pat Lam as the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley is brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe

'Ginger' McLoughlin the great Irish international was also there.

 Former rugby international, Keith Wood - a great personal friend of Anthony's was one of the organisers of the removal.

Signs point the way to Killaloe in County Clare where the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley has been brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, ahead off his funeral tomorrow
Signs point the way to Killaloe in County Clare where the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley has been brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, ahead off his funeral tomorrow

Clan Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, Johnny Sexton and Devon Toner were amongst Leinster players in attendance, along with Leinster manager Leo Cullen.

Pat Lam the Connacht coach and a number of players were also there.

The queue of mourners stretched down the town to the bridge, with a guard of honour formed by Munster backroom staff, standing in silence.

The coffin arrived draped in a Munster flag , followed by Anthony's wife Olive and their two young sons, Daniel and Tony.

Anthony Foley's Father Brendan (right) is embraced as the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley is brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe in Co Clare
Anthony Foley's Father Brendan (right) is embraced as the coffin of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley is brought to repose in St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe in Co Clare

Busloads arrived from rugby clubs all over the country, with the queue for St Flannan's church assembling at around 10 am well ahead of the 1pm start.

The coffin was open and many mourners were deeply affected as they left the church.

Asked for a comment, Joe Schmidt said: "We're all too choked up."

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