Former Connacht, Ireland and Lions prop Ray McLoughlin has passed away at the age of 81.
McLoughlin represented his country on 40 occasions between 1962 and 1975, and was a veteran of two Lions tours.
The Ballinasloe native also made 34 appearances for Connacht, making him one of the province's most capped players of the amateur era.
McLoughlin first toured with the Lions to Australia in 1966, playing two tests against the Wallabies, and then another against the All Blacks in 1971.
"There was a palpable sense of loss when prop Ray McLoughlin was invalided out of the tour after being dealt to in the Canterbury game," said fellow front rower and Lions captan John Dawes, recalling the '71 tour.
"Ray was the wisehead, the intelligentsia of forward play.
"He and [coach] Carwyn [James] would spend hours together, Carwyn trying to learn from Ray the intricacies of forward play.
"I shared a room with Ray on a couple of occasions and Carwyn asked him what it was like to share his ideas with me. Ray replied, 'I don’t know. Once I start talking about these things he goes to sleep!'.
In later life, McLoughlin's name returned to the news in connection with the Moriarty Tribunal. The then head of the James Crean group was found to be the author of the 'Furze Note', on how to set up offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, which was being investigated by the tribunal.
Earlier this year it was noted that McLoughlin was suing stockbroking firm Davy in relation to losses of over €20million.
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