Anthony Foley’s Family Thankful For Amazing Support Following Final Mass


Olive Foley, the wife of the late Anthony has said that the response to her son’s campaign has been an “unforgettable experience of solidarity”.

Axel’s son, Tony Foley set up a Facebook page following his father’s funeral, asking people to go to Mass for the next 8 Sundays starting on his dad’s birthday. After eight emotional weeks, the curtain was brought down in Knock yesterday.

Speaking at the mass, Olive was clearly overwhelmed by the supports and solidarity shown as thousands of people showed up to bid their final farewell to the late, great Munster head coach and captain.


Pictures: Keith Heneghan

The final mass was celebrated at Knock Shrine yesterday by parish priest Fr Richard Gibbons and saw crowds of just short of 2,500 attending.  In a wonderful symbolic gesture, the family presented a No 8 jersey at the start of mass and placed it on a table in front of the altar.

“It was incredible,” Olive said.

“There was such a sense of peace and compassion and Fr. Richard’s homily was amazing. It was so kind of him to invite us up today and to dedicate this Mass to the campaign.  

“What we saw here again today reminded us of just how important our faith is and how it is carrying us through a very difficult time.”


Olive added that while they’ve suffered through some very difficult moments since Anthony’s tragic passing, and will continue to do so, yesterday was a good day that will never be forgotten.

We’ve had and will continue to have for a long, long time very difficult moments and days. But today was a good day for us and this campaign generally has been amazing,” said Olive.

“Tony came up with the idea and we all supported it on the grounds that it was so others could have their loved ones remembered alongside Anthony.

We got such incredible support following what happened to Anthony that we just wanted others to come under that roof and feel the warmth,”

“We had people contacting us from all over the world and today at Knock was no different. I must have met everyone in the basilica after Mass and many travelled for hours. Each and every one of them had a story to tell about a person close to them who also passed away.

“We were just so privileged to have so many others join us in this journey and we will never, ever forget that.

We offered today’s Mass for all those who died and whose family or friends wanted remembered by this campaign.” 

Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Sleep well Axel.

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