Tributes have been flowing in for the late Anto Finnegan as the GAA community bids farewell to "an absolute hero" and "an inspiration to us all".
The former Antrim football captain and charity campaigner, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2012 at the age of 39, played for his county for eleven years.
GAA pundit Joe Brolly and multiple Dublin All-Ireland winners Brian Fenton and Philly McMahon were among those who took to Twitter to pay tribute to Anto.
With Anto in 2013, shortly after his MND diagnosis. He said to me once “There’s nothing to be sad about, I have a great life.” pic.twitter.com/hn9tY439gY— Joe Brolly (@JoeBrolly1993) September 18, 2021
Enjoyed many a story with this man about @AontroimGAA the North and my Dad. A pleasure to cross paths, a man that will be sorely missed but that's left a legacy anyone would be proud of. RIP @AFinn73 💛 💙 pic.twitter.com/at0eMW58Pr— Philly Mc Mahon (@PhillyMcMahon) September 19, 2021
Everyone at St Agnes GAC are saddened to hear that very sad news that Anto Finnegan has passed away. To Anto’s family we offer our heartfelt condolences. St Agnes pray for him. https://t.co/44Fitgdpbn— St Agnes GAC (@Naomh_Una_clg) September 19, 2021
Sad to hear of the passing of former Antrim captain Anto Finnegan. Anto was a wonderful ambassador for our game on and off the pitch. His warrior spirit was in plain sight over many years during his determined battle with illness.— Justin McNulty (@JustinMcNu1ty) September 19, 2021
I measc na naomh go raibh sé. pic.twitter.com/9zjV0TXbZT
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Antrim footballer Anto Finnegan.— GPA (@gaelicplayers) September 19, 2021
Deepest condolences to his family, friends and all at St. Paul’s GAA and Antrim GAA.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. https://t.co/X0CgNP93Ek
Just received a text that has brought a tear to the eye. So sorry to hear about the passing of Anto Finnegan...christ he marked me in the early 00's in those epic battles in casement. He battled right to end. A top top gael. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam— Paddy Bradley (@PaddyB14) September 18, 2021
West Belfast and Antrim and the GAA community has lost a hero and an inspirational man in Anto Finnegan. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. pic.twitter.com/OHrD19aLRD— Rónán McHugh (@silomchugh) September 18, 2021
Devastating news around Lenadoon, Hannahstown and Gaa community at the loss of a loving husband father, son, a friend to many and an inspiration to us all. RIP Anto Finnegan @deterMND @AontroimGAA @AFinn73 @StPaulsGAC 💛🤍💛🤍💔🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/kt88Y4OIcD— Karen Clarke (@kmmclarke) September 18, 2021
Very sad news about Anto Finnegan. A great lad, a warrior and a great sportsman. A young man with a big heart. RIP.— Adrian Logan (@OurLogie) September 19, 2021
‘Enjoy life to the fullest, every day is a blessing’ - the inspirational Anto Finnegan after his Falls Park ‘Run for Anto’ event attracted 1000 people, including Jim Gavin. We will be paying a full tribute on today’s Live Stream from the All Ireland Camogie Minor Final. RIP Anto. pic.twitter.com/biPaAMb03l— Jerome Quinn (@JeromeQuinn) September 19, 2021
Rip Anto thoughts and prayers with Alison Ava Conall and Finnegan Dowdall family. An absolute hero🙏 https://t.co/y50faOnU77— Sarah mc keown (@sadiebuckets) September 18, 2021