Friday 23 February 2018

Anthony Foley's brave young son has started an inspiring campaign to remember his father

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Anthony Foley's eldest son has started a campaign urging people to attend mass to remember their lost loved ones in the build-up to Christmas.

Inspired by the rapturous send off given to the Munster and Ireland legend by the Thomond Park supporters last weekend, Tony Foley (11) came up with the idea to start the #8masses4no8 campaign on Saturday night after Munster beat Glasgow.

The idea behind the campaign is for people to go to mass on each of the next eight Sundays and light a candle for a loved one, or for Anthony Foley. Tony is hoping people will take photos of the lit candles and post them on the Axel Foley Memorial Facebook page, which was started today.

The eight Sundays start this weekend on October 30th, which is Anthony Foley's birthday, and will run all the way up until Christmas time.

"The family are so appreciative of the support that everyone has given them," a spokesman for the family told

"Tony himself came up with the idea for the campaign on Saturday night and made a formal presentation to the family. He came up with the hashtag himself and with the help of some friends launched a Facebook page today.

"Tony and Dan [Anthony Foley's younger son, 8] are remarkable young boys for the way they have dealt with all this and for Tony to come up with an idea that thinks of others shows that he has really inherited his parents' leadership qualities."

The Facebook site – Axel Foley Memorial - was launched shortly after midday today and is already getting huge traction.

The first to post on the site was Tony’s mother Olive, who confirmed it was her son’s idea and that he thought it up on Saturday night last, after returning from Thomond Park.

“Tony was inspired by what he had experienced in Thomond Park and came up with the idea of getting people to go to Mass to pray for deceased family or friends, including his father, in the run up to Christmas.  The eight week cycle is fitting as his father will, of course, forever be associated with the number 8.

“It’s a lovely idea. Tony even created the hash-tag, edited the image for the page to include the hast-tag and launched the page today.

“It’s getting a great response and he’s delighted.  It’s a really positive way of dealing with what has happened and the more people that support it the better.

“November is fast approaching, which is, of course, the month of the Holy Souls so it’s very timely also in that regard.

“The eight Sundays will take us right up to Christmas, which is a special family time, of course, but can be very difficult for families who have lost loved ones.  The support for the campaign over the coming weeks will certainly be a positive for the family at an otherwise very difficult time.”

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