Belfast Telegraph

Anthony Foley widow: Messages of support show the goodness in people

The widow of the late rugby legend Anthony Foley says she sees the amazing goodness of people despite her grief.

Olive Foley gave thanks for the messages of support and sympathy she has received in the months since her husband's death as she was presented with a book of condolences with 10,000 signatures.

The messages were signed in Limerick in the days after Foley's death in Paris on October 16 last year.

"As dreadful as this has been, I cannot help, even at the most difficult of times, but see the amazing goodness of people," Mrs Foley said.

"You're dealing with something that is almost too much at times but there's always someone at your side, some message coming through.

"The greatness of this is really that it's there for everyone, every time there's a tragedy, people respond in amazing ways.

"Ireland is a special place in that regard and Limerick, too.

"We had incredible support in Killaloe but it was like there was a small bridge between Killaloe and Limerick at that time, and very much since."

The Foleys were presented with the Limerick book of condolences at a ceremony hosted by Mayor Kieran O'Hanlon.

"To have 10,000 people sign a book of condolences says it all about Limerick," Mrs Foley said.

"It has a huge place in our hearts and even the journey home with Anthony, passing Thomond Park and seeing so many people there, is something we will never forget.

"We thank everyone across the city and county for their support and for all these signatures. We will never forget it."

Foley, Munster's head coach, died suddenly hours before the Irish province's scheduled Champions Cup opener against Racing 92.

The 42-year-old had won 63 caps for Ireland and spearheaded Munster's rise to the top of the European game, as the Thomond Park province won two Heineken Cup titles.

Mr O'Hanlon paid his own tribute.

"Anthony achieved so much in his all too short time here with us but was a really modest person," he said..

"I think it's because of that he had a special place in our hearts; a down-to-earth guy who did so well.

"His death, therefore, deeply impacted so many people and the number of people who signed the book of condolences reflected that.

"We never saw anything like it. So many people wanted to honour Anthony that we even increased capacity on our website Limerick.ie to enable them to do so."

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