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As a final pitiless larceny, Covid has stolen so many farewells

Roy Curtis


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Templeogue Synge Street jersey and the Dublin Number 10 jersey are placed on the coffin of Anton O'Toole at the Church of St Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus in Dublin.
Pic:Mark Condren
20.5.2019

Templeogue Synge Street jersey and the Dublin Number 10 jersey are placed on the coffin of Anton O'Toole at the Church of St Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus in Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 20.5.2019

Teammates: From left, Fran Ryder, Bobby Doyle, Kevin Moran and Paddy Cullen shoulder the remains of Anton O’Toole for his funeral Mass. Photo: Mark Condren

Teammates: From left, Fran Ryder, Bobby Doyle, Kevin Moran and Paddy Cullen shoulder the remains of Anton O’Toole for his funeral Mass. Photo: Mark Condren

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Templeogue Synge Street jersey and the Dublin Number 10 jersey are placed on the coffin of Anton O'Toole at the Church of St Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus in Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 20.5.2019

PERHAPS the final benevolence to spring gift-wrapped from Anton O'Toole's stilled heart was a funeral as sweet-tempered and uplifting as the gentle yet brilliant footprint of his life.

Anton, a colossus of the Irish sporting byways, custodian of a personality as genial and placid as a songbird, closed his eyes one last time a year ago today.

His farewell, three days later, was among the most beautiful, soaring, immaculately stitched triumphs of dignified choreography most of us will ever know.