Limerick rugby great Colm ‘fought illness like a true Lion’

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

PROMINENT figures from the worlds of sport, business and politics turned out in force at St John’s Cathedral on Saturday to bid a sad final farewell to Limerick rugby great Colm Tucker.

PROMINENT figures from the worlds of sport, business and politics turned out in force at St John’s Cathedral on Saturday to bid a sad final farewell to Limerick rugby great Colm Tucker.

Diagnosed in 2009 with a lung disease the cause of which mystified his medical team, Colm Tucker, Stenson Park, passed away on Wednesday after “fighting to save his life with courage, with faith and with dignity”, said Fr Donal McNamara.

“Like a true Shannon, Munster, Ireland and Lions player, he never gave up.”

His son, Colm Junior, appealed to up to 1,000 mourners to remember his late father “in his prime - as the strong man-mountain he was, as the fun-loving guy he was, as the great family man and great father he was”.

Colm Tucker’s place in sporting history is assured as a member of the Munster team that beat the All-Blacks in 1978 and team-mates from that famous day were among the mourners.

Born in the shadow of St John’s, Colm Tucker had humble roots. Colm Jr told the story of how when he told his mother he had been picked for the Lions, her reply was “that’s fantastic Colm. Is that anything to do with the tea?”

Colm Tucker is survived by his wife Ger, sons Colm and Richard, daughter Rachel, grandson Oige, relatives and friends.

*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated January 16, 2012.