BRIAN O’Brien, who had died at the age of 83, played an integral role across the Munster and Irish rugby landscape as a player, selector, coach and manager.
A Limerick sporting luminary, he featured in Shannon’s first ever Munster Senior Cup Final victory in 1959 and went on to become the club’s first ever international player, winning his first cap in 1968.
He spent almost 15 years playing as a centre with Shannon’s senior team and then coached ‘The Parish’ to Munster Senior Cup titles in 1977 and 1978. Serving on the IRFU Senior Selection Committee, he was also part of the 1983 British and Irish Lions selection committee.
Manager of the Irish U21 team and the Shannon team that won four in a row All-Ireland League titles, he served as Munster team manager before being appointed to a similar role with the Irish National side in 2000.
As a Munster selector and team manager, O’Brien’s further impact on the province came by way of introducing his “Stand Up and Fight” party piece, with the song becoming a Munster Rugby anthem for over 20 years.
He was inducted into the Munster Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014.
Munster Rugby President Ger McNamara said that his legacy will live long in the history of Munster Rugby.
Formerly of Ballyclough and resident in Corbally Road, he died at Milford Care Centre on Tuesday.
He is survived by his wife Olive; daughters Siobhan and Maura; sons Brendan, Aidan, Ronan and Padraic; sisters Mary and Deirdre; 20 grandchildren and a wide circle of relatives and friends.
Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul is being celebrated at 11am today (Friday) in St Mary’s Church, Athlunkard Street with burial afterwards in Castlemungret Cemetery.