Foley’s Final Journey To Thomond Park
20th October 2016 By Munster Rugby
Led by Shannon RFC President and close friend of Anthony Foley, Noel Healy, hundreds of supporters sang ‘There Is An Isle’ as the funeral cortege of their fallen hero, Axel, stopped outside Thomond Park last night on his final journey home to Killaloe.
The Ryanair jet which flew the former Munster captain’s body home to Ireland adopted special call-signs, marking his year of birth and the famous red number 8 jersey which he had made his own for so many seasons. The repatriation flight left Shannon just before 1pm yesterday under the special call-sign FR-1973, while the return flight carried the call-sign FR-8.
Since news of Anthony’s passing came to light on Sunday, the Blue Gate entrance at Thomond Park, situated alongside the Shannon RFC club house, has become a mecca for fans and friends and the hearse momentarily paused at the shrine of flowers, cards, jerseys and flags emblazoned with messages of thanks for all that Axel gave to rugby and the wider community.
Flanked on either side by members of Shannon RFC, the cortege then made its way through the streets of Limerick where, outside St Munchin’s College, students formed a guard of honour for one of their most notable alumni and the captain of their 1989 Munster Schools Junior Cup winning team.
Anthony will lie in repose at St. Flannan's Church, Killaloe from 1pm to 8:30pm sharp this evening (Thursday). People intending on paying their respects are asked to attend early (house afterwards is private).
Funeral Mass will take place at 12 midday on Friday at St Flannan's Church, with the Church reserved for family and friends only. A special area will be set aside to facilitate media outside the Church, near speakers.
Burial afterwards will be at Relig Núa Cemetery, Killaloe. Family flowers only.
For the purposes of Traffic Management there will be a one way system in place in the town. To manage the crowds the Gardai have released the following statement:
- Approaching from Limerick / Dublin M7 – We expect the majority of traffic to come from this direction. They will not be allowed to cross the bridge from Ballina to Killaloe. Unfortunately parking is limited on this approach route. Once the designated parking on the Bridhill side is full we will be directing all traffic to approach the funeral from the O' Briens Bridge side of Killaloe. We have ample parking identified on the Killaloe side. From the point of the IRFU we would encourage all clubs coming from Munster / Lenister direction to use this route- Small buses will be directed to O' Briens Bridge. If large buses are attending they will be facilitated with parking in the “Slipway” just before Ballina Village.
- Approaching from Scariff – We would encourage traffic from Connaught to approach from Scariff. Parking will be available for buses / cars Harbour Village / Kincora Lodge. We will also have limited on street parking.
- Approaching from Portroe – We envisage that this route will be used by traffic from Nenagh. Parking will be available for buses / cars Ballina GAA Club, Brian Ború Pub, The lakeside Hotel. We will also have limited on street parking.