Donal Walsh, the inspirational Kerry teenager who spent the last months of his life raising awareness of a “suicide epidemic”, was last night posthumously presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Public Debate award at the National Newspaper Awards.
The 16-year-old, who passed away in May following a long battle with cancer, came to prominence when he publicly begged young people who felt they had no choice but to take their own lives to reconsider their options and to think of the anguish those left behind would have to face.
Last night, the citation recommending him for the award pointed out that: “Some people live all their lives without ever acquiring a real sense of what they are about; Donal Walsh lived among us a mere 16 years and by the time of his parting had bequeathed us a wisdom to serve the ages.
“His would not be the glory of the sporting or the academic fields as occurs so often bestowed on people from the Kingdom. Instead he was to become a beacon lighting the darkness of our lives to help us to realise just how precious a day in a life is.”
At the awards, Matt Dempsey, chairman of National Newspapers of Ireland welcomed the publication of the Copyright Review report and particularly, its acknowledgment that newspapers and content creators make a vital contribution to the economy.
However, he drew attention to aspects of the report that are not favourable for the newspaper industry.
“Regrettably, the report also contained recommendations that could, that would, greatly limit the ability of newspapers to prevent others from commercially exploiting their content, without permission or fair remuneration,” he said.
“The creation of high-quality original content requires significant investment on the part of newspaper publishers, to the tune of hundreds of millions of euro each year.
“That investment is underpinned by robust copyright protection, any loosening or weakening of which will have negative and far-reaching consequences for journalism, for press freedom and for media pluralism.”
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