Tributes paid after the passing of former Antrim player and campaigner Anto Finnegan

The Belfast man had been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.

TRIBUTES HAVE POURED in for the late Anto Finnegan, the former Antrim footballer who has passed away.

anto-finnegan Anto Finnegan at the 'Game For Anto' event in 2014. Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

Finnegan had been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. He spent several years raising awareness about the disease and helped to raise funding for the deterMND charity, which he founded.

In November 2014 a charity GAA game took place at the home of Ulster Rugby in Belfast between Jim Gavin’s Dublin team and an Ulster All-Stars selection, to help raise awareness of Motor Neuron Disease.

anto-finnegan-with-the-two-teams Anto Finnegan with the Dublin team in 2014.

Finnegan’s club St Paul’s paid tribute to him.

“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.”

Derry All-Ireland winner and GAA pundit Joe Brolly paid tribute to Finnegan.

anto-finnegan-and-joe-brolly-272000 Anto Finnegan and Joe Brolly in action in the 2000 Ulster senior championship. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Sympathies were also expressed by different GAA figures in tweets.

“Rest In Peace Anto Finnegan,” said Dublin midfielder Brian Fenton.

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“Legend doesn’t do him service. #NPA”

“Just received a text that has brought a tear to the eye,” said former Derry forward Paddy Bradley.

“So sorry to hear about the passing of Anto Finnegan…christ he marked me in the early 00′s in those epic battles in casement. He battled right to end. A top top gael. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.”

“Enjoyed many a story with this man about @AontroimGAA the North and my Dad,” said Dublin defender Philly McMahon.

“A pleasure to cross paths, a man that will be sorely missed but that’s left a legacy anyone would be proud of. RIP @AFinn73″

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Fintan O'Toole

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