Wednesday 7 December 2016

Special flight numbers carrying Anthony Foley's remains a perfect tribute to the Munster legend

Published 19/10/2016 | 19:25

The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes at Thomond Park, Limerick
Photo: Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes at Thomond Park, Limerick Photo: Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Pic:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Pic:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Pic:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes at Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Pic:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes at Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Pic:Mark Condren
Peter O'Mahony was overcome by emotion when talking about his 'hero' Anthony Foley
Peter O'Mahony is overcome with emotion at today's press conference
Munster have confirmed their match against Glasgow will go ahead on Saturday
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O’Mahony have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of Anthony Foley. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park
Munster and Anthony Foley Rugby Momentos at the Blue Gate of Thomond Park

In the ultimate tribute to the life of legendary Munster coach Anthony Foley, the hearse carrying his remains paid a stop outside Thomond Park in Limerick tonight, greeted by thousands of grieving fans.

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There was a minute’s silence followed by a moving rendition of There is an Isle – the anthem of Shannon RFC – of which Foley had been a loyal lifelong member.

The event was organised by the club and was initially intended to be low-key but such was Foley’s popularity that word spread and many more turned out.

Accompanied by around 25 family members, Foley’s remains were brought back to Ireland from Paris today, touching down at around 6pm at Shannon Airport, on board Ryanair’s corporate jet, which had been offered to the Foley family for the repatriation flight.

The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes at Thomond Park, Limerick tonight
Photo: Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes at Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Photo: Mark Condren

The flight taking the family out from Shannon at lunchtime was designated a special call-sign for the flight –Flight FR-1973 signified Anthony’s birth year.

The flight carrying Anthony’s remains home was designated Flight FR-8 – representing the back row position he played for Munster and for Ireland.

The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight
Photo:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Photo:Mark Condren

The area around the iconic stadium came to a standstill as fans stood still in respect to observe the poignant scenes.

The remains were taken to the family home in Killaloe, Co Clare and will lie in repose at St Flannan’s Church, Killaloe from 1pm until 8.30pm sharp tomorrow. The funeral will take place at midday on Friday at St Flannan’s church with burial afterwards at Relig Núa Cemetery, Killaloe.

Tributes are paid to Munster head coach Anthony Foley outside Thomond Park at the Shannon RFC clubhouse gatePhoto by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Tributes are paid to Munster head coach Anthony Foley outside Thomond Park at the Shannon RFC clubhouse gatePhoto by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight
Pic:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Anthony Foley passes Thomond Park, Limerick tonight Pic:Mark Condren

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