The Irish athletics community is in mourning today following the passing of Raymond Flynn.
Mr. Flynn passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Ray served as a member of the Athletics Ireland High Performance Committee and was involved in coaching and officiating. He was also ever-present at events throughout the country.
He was involved with Ireland’s Olympic teams for several years and worked closely with race walkers such as Rob Heffernan, Olive Loughnane, and Colin Griffin.
Ray was a well respected European and International Race Walk judge and his love for race walking began back in the 1960’s when he started with his local club Calry AC in Sligo.
Tributes have poured in on social media to a giant of Irish athletics. In an emotional tribute, Olympic bronze medallist Rob Heffernan said he had lost his “best friend”.
“Today I have lost my best friend Ray Flynn. He was like a dad/brother/friend all rolled into 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,” he posted on Twitter.
International hurdler Thomas Barr described him as “one of the greats” of Irish athletics.
“I’m in complete shock to hear this… Ray was at pretty much every competition nationally and internationally. I always would gravitate toward him on trips as he was always a pleasure and great banter to be around. One of the great ones of Irish athletics. Rest in peace Ray,” Barr said.
Meanwhile Rio 2016 Olympian in the Steeplechase Kerry O’Flaherty also paid tribute to Flynn saying he would be “missed greatly” on the athletics scene.
“You always brought the fun and the laughs to training camps and major champs, always a smile and words of encouragement for every athlete. You helped ease the race nerves with a joke and we would party the night away when the competitions were over. Ray Flynn you will be missed greatly on the athletics scene, a true legend and gentleman. Rest in peace,” she posted.
Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and friends at this very difficult time.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h'anam dílis.