Former Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald has died aged 65 following an illness, the club have announced.

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Garrett was the longest-serving provincial chief executive in Irish rugby, having joined Munster in 1999 before retiring in June last year.

He helped lead the province’s rise in the professional era, overseeing two European Rugby Champions Cup wins and three Pro14 successes.

Munster chairman Gerry O’Shea told the club website: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague and friend Garrett Fitzgerald.

“With a hands-on approach, Garrett was the driving force behind Munster Rugby’s successful transition into the professional era, transforming the province into a club that is held in such high regard across the rugby landscape.

“Showing great humility, Garrett always ensured it was never about him, and it was always about the people of Munster Rugby.

“Playing a leading role in shaping the province’s story through his hard work and committed service over the past twenty years he leaves a lasting legacy that we will forever be grateful for.

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“My sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to Aine, Megan, Jamie and Michael, and Garrett’s extended family and friends.”

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell and captain Johnny Sexton press conference following their victory over Wales in the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

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