It’s with great sadness that we learn of the death of former Irish Rugby International, Kilkenny man Gary Halpin.
Gary, who was in his mid 50’s passed away at home on Tuesday night, he is survived by his wife Carol and three children.
He had recently returned home to live in Kilkenny having worked in teaching overseas for over 25 years and was the director of boarding at Cistercian College, Roscrea.
Like his late Father Tom, he was part of Kilkenny rugby club helping out and over the last few years, he was involved as scrum and forwards coach with their firsts team.
As well as being known for his rugby, he also competed for Ireland in the hammer throwing event.
Gary is best known for being an international prop for Ireland, he also played with Leinster and London Irish. His career going from 1995 to 2000 winning 11 international caps and scoring one try.
The try he scored of course was a famous one, in the 1995 Rugby World Cup against the All Blacks.
Gary made a burst at the line from a penalty as they were lining up across the try line, he then gave them the middle finger as he was running back, aimed at New Zealand legend Sean Fitzpatrick.
The All Blacks then went on to give Ireland a hiding in that game, but that moment is still being talked about to this day.
Check out the video below where Gary talks about the try and the celebration.
That game was also a notable one in rugby history for another reason, a young man called Jonah Lomu announced himself to the world on his third international start that day, going over for two tries.
Tributes have been paid to Gary on social media this morning.
— Jerry Flannery (@jerryflannery) February 24, 2021
‘Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam dílis’