Ray Flynn dead – Irish Olympic hero Rob Heffernan pays heartbreaking tribute to mentor and Irish athletics coach

ROB HEFFERNAN has paid a heartbreaking tribute to Ray Flynn after the death of the Irish athletics stalwart.

Flynn passed away suddenly in the early hours of Monday morning at the age of 68.


And Irish Olympic hero Heffernan led the tributes to the Sligo native who he described as like 'a dad, brother and friend'.

He wrote on Twitter: "Today I have lost my best friend Ray Flynn . He was like a Dad/brother/friend all rolled in to one and he was involved with all my successes and failures in my life and was always there for me.

"I will miss our multiple chats daily @RAYMONDFLYNN1 you will be forever young now RIP."

Flynn was a highly regarded coach in race walking and served as a mentor to Heffernan throughout his hugely successful career.

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Athletics Ireland also paid tribute to Flynn hailing his work as a coach, official and judge in the sport.

They said: “It is with great sadness that Athletics Ireland mourns the passing of Sligo native Raymond Flynn, a member of the Athletics Ireland high performance committee as well as a dedicated coach and official who was ever present at events across the country.

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"‘Ray’ was passionate about race walking and started with his local Calry AC in the late 1960s, inspired by the likes of walkers such as Jackie McGowan and Tommy Casey, which would in turn lead him to become a European race-talking Judge.

“An esteemed coach, working with athletes from club, right up to international level including Rob Heffernan, Olive Loughnane, Colin Griffin, and James Costin. Our thoughts are with all of his friends and family at this difficult time.”

Flynn's funeral will take place at 11am on Friday April 29th at St Patrick's Church in Calry, Sligo.

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