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24th Oct 2016

Anthony Foley’s son has kickstarted a Facebook appeal in memory of his father

This is actually heartbreaking.


What a brave and thoughtful thing to do.

Just over a week after the untimely passing of Anthony Foley, his 11-year old son, Tony Foley, has launched an online campaign on Facebook to pay tribute to his father and to help families who, like his own family, are grieving over the loss of a loved one.

Tony and his brother Dan were part of incredibly special and emotional scenes at Thomond Park on Saturday when they joined the Munster players in a huddle and sang the Munster anthem ‘Stand Up and Fight’ in memory of Anthony Foley, whose death sent shockwaves through the rugby and sporting communities in Ireland.

As a further tribute to his father, Tony asked that a Facebook page, Axel Foley memorial, be set up in his honour.

Tony wants to use the page to ask people to attend mass for each of the next eight Sundays and while there, to pray for people who have died and offer a prayer for his father too.

The number eight is significant not only because it was the number worn by his father in the red of Munster and green of Ireland, but because eight Sundays will take us up to Christmas, a special family time of year.

According to the Limerick Leader, Anthony Foley’s wife, Olive, revealed that Tony came up with the idea after returning home from Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Olive explained:

“Tony was inspired by what he had experienced in Thomond Park and came up with the idea of getting people to go to Mass to pray for deceased people, including his father, in the run up to Christmas. The eight week cycle is fitting as his father will, of course, forever be associated with the number 8″.

“It’s a lovely idea. Tony even created the hashtag, edited the image for the page to include the hashtag and launched the page today.

European Rugby Champions Cup Round 2, Thomond Park, Limerick 22/10/2016 Munster vs Glasgow Warriors Anthony Foley's children Tony and Dan with the Munster players Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“It’s getting a huge response and he’s delighted.

“It’s a really positive way of dealing with what has happened and the more people that support it the better.

“November is fast approaching, which is, of course, the month of the Holy Souls so it’s very timely also in that regard”.

“The eight Sundays will take us right up to Christmas, which is a special family time, of course, but can be very difficult for families who have lost loved ones. The support for the campaign over the coming weeks will certainly be a positive for the family at an otherwise very difficult time.”

You can find out more about the appeal on Facebook and join it on Twitter using the hashtag #8masses4no8.