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Former Antrim captain and charity campaigner Anto Finnegan dies aged 48

Anto Finnegan helped organise many events to raise awareness of Motor Neurone disease including the Game for Anto at Kingspan Stadium in 2014
Picture: Hugh Russell
Paul McConville

Former Antrim captain and charity campaigner Anto Finnegan has died at the age of 48.

The St Paul's clubman passed away following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease after spending the years since his diagnosis in 2012 campaigning for greater awareness of the condition.

This included a range of high-profile events such as the Match for Anto in 2014 when Jim Gavin brought his Dublin team to play an Ulster select at the Kingspan Stadium, the home of Ulster rugby.

On the field, Finnegan was captain of the Antrim team which shocked Down in 2000 Ulster Championship with a memorable win at Casement Park, having helped his county win an All-Ireland B title the previous year.

He played for the Saffons until 2005 and first received his MND diagnosis in 2012.

In a post on social meda on Saturday evening, Finnegan's club St Paul's said:

"It is with the upmost sadness that we learn of the passing of our friend, former player, coach, mentor & ambassador Anto Finnegan. This world has lost a fine man. Our deepest sympathies to Alison, Conall, Ava & the Finnegan & Dowdall families Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal."

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