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Anthony Foley: Rugby stars pay respects as remains of Ireland and Munster legend arrive at church in Killaloe

By Nicola Anderson

Thousands of mourners have filled the town of Killaloe to pay tribute to their legendary son, Anthony Foley.

The grief-stricken rugby community came together as a family to mourn one of their own.

Amongst those who attended were Ireland coach Joe Schmidt who was the first to pay his respects to the family.

'Ginger' McLoughlin the great Irish international was also there.

 Former rugby international, Keith Wood - a great personal friend of Anthony's was one of the organisers of the removal.

Clan Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, Johnny Sexton and Devon Toner were amongst Leinster players in attendance, along with Leinster manager Leo Cullen.

Pat Lam the Connacht coach and a number of players were also there.

The queue of mourners stretched down the town to the bridge, with a guard of honour formed by Munster backroom staff, standing in silence.

The coffin arrived draped in a Munster flag , followed by Anthony's wife Olive and their two young sons, Daniel and Tony.

Two young relatives wore Munster jerseys.

Busloads arrived from rugby clubs all over the country, with the queue for St Flannan's church assembling at around 10 am well ahead of the 1pm start.

The coffin was open and many mourners were deeply affected as they left the church.

Asked for a comment, Joe Schmidt said: "We're all too choked up."

Irish Independent

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