Northern Ireland

Books of condolence for Munster rugby head coach Anthony Foley

Anthony Foley earned 62 Ireland caps before joining Munster's coaching staff Image copyright Inpho
Image caption Foley died in the Paris hotel where Munster were staying prior to Sunday's scheduled game against Racing 92

Books of condolence are to be opened across Munster in the Republic of Ireland for the province's head rugby coach Anthony Foley.

He died suddenly at the team's hotel in Paris at the weekend. He was 42 years old.

The European Champions Cup game was postponed on Sunday following the former Ireland international's death.

Foley was capped on 62 occasions for Ireland and played more than 200 times for Munster.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Anthony Foley captained Munster when they won the European Cup in 2006

He took over as head coach in 2014.

He died overnight at the hotel where the team was staying prior to the scheduled game against Racing 92.

Flags will be flown at half mast outside Limerick City and county council buildings on Monday as a mark of respect.

Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have been leading the tributes to the former international.

Former Ireland international Denis Hickey played with Anthony Foley paid tribute to former team mate on BBC's Good Morning Ulster:

"You can be popular and admired but to be respected, I think, particularly by your peers, people who've played against you, and we saw the reaction of players all around the world who had played against Anthony Foley over the years was one of huge respect," he said.

Image copyright Inpho
Image caption Munster's travelling fans gathered outside the ground in Paris after hearing the news of Anthony Foley's death

"It is with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Anthony Foley, the Munster rugby team's head coach and one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era," said Mr Higgins.

In a statement, the Irish Rugby Football Union said: "The IRFU and Munster Rugby pass on our deepest sympathy to all of Anthony's family and friends."

It added: "We ask for privacy for the family at this sad time."

Anthony Foley is survived by his wife, Olive, and two children.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Irish team's supporters took part in a minute's applause as a mark of respect

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