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'The final, precious night': Mourners urged to arrive early as thousands expected for Anthony Foley's funeral

The family has urged those willing to pay their respects to plan ahead to make sure they get to say their goodbyes.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

THE FAMILY OF the late Anthony Foley has urged mourners to turn out early to say goodbye to the Munster icon tomorrow.

In a statement released this afternoon, organisers of Foley’s funeral said the public will have to arrive early due to the volume of people expected to attend.

The family said they didn’t anticipate the huge number of people who arrived in Killaloe, Clare, today.

Thousands lined the streets of today as they waited in line to view Foley’s coffin.

Rugby stars such as Keith Wood, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and Andy Farrell were also present to pay their respects.

Anthony Foley death Keith Wood, Joe Schmidt and Andy Farrell as the remains of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley are brought to repose. Source: Niall Carson

A statement from the family read this afternoon: “The crowds attending today are as vast as we could have anticipated and we are urging people to not to leave it late to travel to Killaloe this evening to pay their respects.

Anthony’s remains will be brought from St Flannan’s Church at 8:30pm for his family to spend the final, precious night with him.

“This will be at his family home which is private and only family members present.  With people queuing for two hours and more this afternoon, we would urge sympathisers not to leave it late this evening to get to Killaloe.”

Plans

His funeral mass will be held tomorrow at midday at St Flannan’s Church with burial afterwards in Relig Lua.

Traffic plans have also been put into place to facilitate the thousands expected to arrive on Friday.

A Garda Síochána traffic plan is place throughout the afternoon, evening and into tomorrow. Stewards are also in place on approach routes to direct members of the public to park-and-ride and other parking facilities.

The spokesperson added:“Traffic approaching on the Tipperary side of the bridge for the funeral must park in designated car parks on that side of the bridge also. Killaloe remains open to local traffic but only for necessary journeys.”

“Two queues are formed at the church, one for people wishing to pay their respects to Anthony but a second, fast-tracked queue, for those who wish to meet Anthony’s family and haven’t done so already.”

Foley, 42, passed away in his hotel room in Paris last Sunday.

He is survived by his wife Olive and his two sons Tony and Daniel.

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