herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Irish rugby fan husband passes away in Paris tragedy

THE grieving widow of an Irish rugby fan who passed away in the Stade de France last Saturday has told of how she watched French paramedics battle to save her husband.

John Flanagan (61), a lifelong Munster rugby fan, travelled to Paris on Saturday with wife Irene to watch Ireland's Six Nations clash against France. The match was later called off due to a frozen pitch.

A devastated Irene, who has insisted on remaining in Paris until her husband's remains are repatriated, told last night how paramedics rushed to help John but were unable to save him.

"The game was on late so we decided not to go out too early," she recalled.

"We had our dinner and got the Metro to the stadium.

"Me and my friend were walking to our seats ahead of John and [their other friend] Joe and then there was no sign of them. Joe ran and said John had collapsed.

"The paramedics were unbelievable. They had him on a stretcher straight away. They fought and fought for John but couldn't save him."

Mr Flanagan had only just returned to work with Limerick City Council after an illness. His wife described him as a "quiet gentleman".

The couple had travelled all over Europe together to support Munster.

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