Twitter has being paying tribute to Paul O’Connell all morning after it was confirmed that the second-row’s international career is over.
#ThanksPaulie has been trending on twitter since the news broke and we have selected some of the tweets and comments that have appeared online.
“My sadness is tinged with absolute pride having spent 16 years with one of Rugby’s greatest competitors #gentleman #Leader #1ofakind”
Former Munster and Irish player Ronan O’Gara pays tribute to a friend and a colleague.
“This is so wrong on many levels. One of the greatest leaders & players of them all. Inspirational.”
Former International teammate Brian O’Driscoll echoes the thoughts of every Irish fan with a poignant and clearly emotive tweet.
“Heart just fell again with confirmation that Paul O’Connell’s RWC & Ireland career is over. One of a kind. Best of luck in his recovery.”
TV3’s Sinead Kissane says what we all felt when the news broke.
“You always want to finish on your own terms but sport can be cruel!! True leader & inspiration...hope he gets back to play in France #iconic”
Current Irish Women’s rugby captain Niamh Briggs highlighted the cruelty that top level sport can bring.
Munster Rugby Supporters Club
“Paul O’Connell has played his last game for Ireland.. A leader, a legend and a gent. All we can say is #ThanksPaulie”
The MRSC sum up O’Connell in three words. Leader, legend, gent.
“So Paul’s World Cup/test career is over. No way for it to end, but fittingly went out a winner. Some career. Some legacy. The best.”
The Irish Times’ Gerry Thornley says it all with this tweet.
Leinster Rugby Supporters Club
“Thanks again to @Paul_OConnell for all the memories #ThanksPaul #ThanksPaulie #rugbyunited @IrishRugby”
The Leinster supporters club show that the appreciation for O’Connell went well beyond Munster,
“Is there a few spare quid in Budget to take down bloody awful Spire and put up a statue of Big Paulie? #sameheight #ThanksPaulie”
Irish Independent columnist Lise Hand has a novel idea on how today’s budget could be used to emphasise how we all feel about Paulie and indeed the Spire.
“If it could tweet id say even his hamstring would thank him #thankspaulie #legend”
Well known Limerick blogger led the local tributes with this tweet.
“Talk about leaving it all on the field. Gutted for the Big Man. A Leader in every sense of the word. Speedy recovery and #ThanksPaulie”
UL Sport’s Alan Ward pays tribute to O’Connell’s on field attitude and his leadership.
“Even if Paul has to sew that hamstring back onto the bone, he’ll be back”
Shane Gleeson from Gleeson’s Spar in Catherine Street, Limerick, where O’Connell worked as a teenager.
“What a leader, what a man, what an inspiration, what a role model, what an Irish career. #ThanksPaulie”
Limerick Social Media experts Blue Chief declare what Paulie meant to them.