President Michael D Higgins joins ministers in paying tribute to Munster head coach Anthony Foley

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
President Michael D Higgins joins ministers in paying tribute to Munster head coach Anthony Foley

President Michael D Higgins has joined the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and Tourism in paying tributes to Munster head coach Anthony Foley who died during the night in France.

"It is with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Anthony Foley, the Munster rugby team's head coach and one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era," said Mr Higgins.

"Anthony Foley excelled from a young age and made a huge contribution to the successes of Munster and Ireland, in both his playing and coaching careers.

"While news of his death will be received with shock by all those in the rugby and sports world, it is of course first and foremost a great tragedy for his family and close friends.

"As President of Ireland, and as Patron of the IRFU, I offer them and Munster rugby my deepest sympathies," added Mr Higgins.

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin expressed his shock and sadness at the death of Mr Foley.

Mr Martin said: "Anthony's untimely death has sent shock-waves through the Munster Rugby family and his loss will be felt at community, provincial and national level.

"As a player, he spanned the amateur and professional era and won 62 caps for Ireland during his decade long career. He was the epitome of all that is good about rugby and sport.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam," added Mr Martin.
Minister Ross said “Our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony’s partner, children, family, and friends at this very difficult time.” 

 Limerick TD, Minister O’Donovan said “Anthony will be very fondly remembered for the joy and pleasure that he brought to the people of Limerick, Munster and Ireland.  He will be remembered for his heroics and bravery on the field and his legacy will live long with his extraordinary achievements in caps and tries, both at home and in Europe.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis.”