Books of condolence open across Munster today for Anthony Foley

Flags to be flown at half mast outside council offices as Ireland mourns the late Munster coach

BY Newstalk 08:36 Monday 17 October 2016, 8:36 17 Oct 2016

Munster Rugby fans place tributes outside Thomond Park in Limerick after the death of head coach Anthony Foley | Photo: PA Wire

Books of condolence will open across Munster today following the passing of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley.

The 42-year-old died suddenly in Paris ahead of the team’s fixture against French club Racing 92.

The seven local authorities in Munster – Clare County Council, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Tipperary County Council, Waterford City and County Council – will allow supporters to express their sympathies from midday.

The Irish flag will also be flown at half mast outside the council offices in memory of the former Irish international.

Books of condolence will also be available at the GPO in Dublin and at the University of Limerick's Sport Arena.

Tributes to the late Munster coach have been led by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins.

Mr Kenny described him as a "legendary figure in Munster and Irish rugby", saying it was "tragic to lose such a fantastic man at such a young age".

President Higgins said that Mr Foley was "regarded with great respect and deep affection not just among the Munster rugby fans but by all those interested in Irish sports".

Ex-Munster player Frankie Sheahan tweeted a recent photo of the Munster head coach and others celebrating former Irish star Mick Galwey's birthday.

The Irish Football Rugby Union said Munster Rugby had contacted Mr Foley's family "to provide them with any assistance and support required".

It added: "The IRFU and Munster Rugby pass on our deepest sympathies to all of Anthony's family and friends and ask for privacy for the family at this sad time."

During a playing career in which he picked up 62 Ireland caps, the Limerick man helped Shannon RFC to four consecutive All-Ireland League titles from 1994 to 1998.

In his first season as Munster Rugby captain, he led his team to victory in the 2006 Heineken Cup Final.

Mr Foley took the reins as Munster head coach in 2014, following the departure of Rob Penney.

He is survived by his wife, Olive, and two children.

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