The late Ray McLoughlin.

Ballinasloe mourns loss of former Irish rugby captain

Ballinasloe RFC is mourning the loss of a legendary figure in rugby circles, former Irish captain Ray McLoughlin.

A native of Ahascragh, near Ballinasloe, McLoughlin was capped 40 times for Ireland at prop, a record at the time.

McLoughlin also had a long and successful career at club level with Ballinasloe and he represented Connacht at provincial level. He also played for Athlone RFC and was a strong supporter of rugby in both Ballinalose and Athlone.

He was selected for two tours with the British & Irish Lions, and played for invitational tourists the Barbarians.

McLoughlin went to secondary school at Garbally College, a renowned rugby nursery in Ballinasloe, before going on to study at University College Dublin.

In the Lions' tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1966, McLoughlin played in three tests before being forced to retire through injury.

Paying tribute to Ray, Ballinasloe RFC posted online: "Ray was and still is a legend in Irish, Connacht & Ballinasloe rugby circles. Sincere condolences to his family, siblings, extended family, neighbours & many friends. May Ray Rest in Peace."

Ray McLoughlin of Killiney, Co, Dublin, and late of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway died on Saturday last, November 20, after a long illness, bravely borne.

Predeceased by his wife Geraldine and his sister Enda, he will be sadly missed by his children Lynne, Karen, Jennifer and John, son-in-law Eduardo, daughter-in-law Sarah, grandchildren Kate, Lucy and Lucas, brothers Feidlim and Colm, sister Muire, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Removal to St Anne’s Church, Shankill, takes place this Wednesday morning (November 24) arriving at 10.50am for Funeral Mass at 11am, followed by burial in Shanganagh Cemetery.