Shannon-side memorial unveiled to Anthony Foley

Shannon-side memorial unveiled to Anthony Foley


Shannon-side memorial unveiled to Anthony Foley

Shannon-side memorial unveiled to Anthony Foley

Posted by The Clare Herald on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Family and friends of late Shannon, Munster and Ireland star gather as Mayor unveils Limerick City and County Council tribute on Clancy Strand

Limerick City and County Council has enshrined the powerful image of Shannon, Munster and Ireland’s favourite No. 8 in a riverside memorial to the late Anthony Foley Clancy Strand.

In the local authority’s official dedication to the iconic rugby star, who died suddenly last October in Paris, it has erected a 2m memorial stone with an iconic image engraved of the legendary forward charging, ball in hand.

The statue was the initiative of Mayor of Limerick Kieran O’Hanlon and was unveiled in a low-key event attended by the late player’s wife Olive, father and mother Brendan and sisters Rosie and Orla.

A number of the Foley’s closest friends were also in attendance, among them Keith Wood and Marcus Horan.

Unveiling the memorial, Mayor O’Hanlon said: “This is a fanatical rugby city and county, with many heroes but they did not come bigger or prouder than Anthony Foley. Every rugby fan had their own special relationship with Anthony because he was that modest every day type of guy who just happened to be one of our greatest and most celebrated rugby stars.

“Given the city’s relationship with him and the sense of loss that people will have for a long time to come, a loss that pales in comparison with what his family is going through, we wanted to come up with something that the public could connect with and relate to and the memorial stone has done that for us.

“The location is special and very appropriate. Clancy Strand is a place that thousands pass by on rugby match days so it many will be able to pay their respects and acknowledge Anthony, as they do so. But it’s also a popular route for a walk in the city so on any given day there will be many, many people who will benefit from it.”

Photo: Sean Curtin

Anthony’s sister Rosie said: “It’s a beautiful location and an outstanding tribute to him. It’s a sculpture in limestone from Clare, erected here in Limerick, close to Thomond Park and by the very river that we grew up beside out in Killaloe. Anthony wouldn’t have liked the fuss or anything like that but at the same time we are delighted as a family to have him honoured in this way.

“We have been overwhelmed by all the kindnesses, including this. The outpouring is amazing, not just from the rugby community but the wider sporting community, supporters, people that we will never actually get to thank. But we really do appreciate all the help and support they have given us through a tough time.”

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.