Anthony Foley’s son launches Facebook prayer appeal

Axel Foley Memorial page asks visitors to attend eight Masses and pray for loved ones

Anthony Foley’s sons Tony and Dan with Munster players at Thomond Park, Limerick, last Saturday. Tony’s Facebook campaign is hashtagged #8masses4no8. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Wire

Anthony Foley’s sons Tony and Dan with Munster players at Thomond Park, Limerick, last Saturday. Tony’s Facebook campaign is hashtagged #8masses4no8. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Wire

 

The 11-year-old son of Munster rugby icon Anthony Foley has launched a Facebook appeal in his father’s memory.

Just two days after being part of one of Thomond Park’s all-time unforgettable moments when he and his eight-year-old brother Dan joined with Munster players in the middle of the pitch for a poignantly charged rendition of the Munster anthem Stand Up and Fight, Tony Foley, the eldest son of the Munster head coach, launched a campaign to encourage people to go to Mass and pray for deceased family and friends – and his dad – if they so wish.

The Facebook site – Axel Foley Memorial – has already got huge traction.

In the campaign – #8masses4no8 – young Tony is asking people to go to Mass for the next eight Sundays, starting this coming Sunday – his father’s birthday.

The page explained that Tony and his family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since his dad Anthony “Axel” Foley passed away.

“Tony has been busy thinking of a tribute to his Dad and has asked that this page be set up in his memory. He wants to use it to ask people, who want to show their support, to attend Mass on each of the next eight Sundays to pray for people who have died and while there to offer a prayer for his Dad also.”

‘Special number’

“So, Tony has asked if you would, in his Dad’s memory, like and share this page. As you do that, Tag eight Facebook friends to go to Mass over the next eight Sundays and, at that Mass, light a candle for a loved one or, indeed, for Anthony, take a photo of that lit candle and post it to the Facebook page using #8masses4no8.

“By doing this you will be bringing additional comfort to this mighty young man and his family at this time.”

The first to post on the site was Tony’s mother Olive, who confirmed it was her son’s idea and that he thought it up on Saturday night last, after returning from Thomond Park.

Inspired

“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. 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.”