Dónal Walsh, the inspirational Kerry teen who urged his peers to appreciate life as cancer drained his own away, has died.
Credited with doing more to prevent suicide among his peers than any politician and with inspiring Munster’s win over Harlequins in the Heineken Cup last April, the 16-year-old from Blennerville succumbed to the disease that first surfaced in his leg at age 12.
The youngster, who dropped out of school “to have more time for his life” spent his last years tirelessly fundraising for charity, helping to coach Tralee Rugby Club, and encouraging other youngsters not to take their own lives just as he fought to hang on to his.
After radio interviews, a TV appearance and numerous newspaper articles, Dónal and his indomitable spirit entered the national consciousness to the point where he was invited by the HSE to make a video for distribution to schools broadcasting his appeal to other youngsters not to take their own lives.
The sporting stars numbered among his fan base include Munster legend Paul O’Connell and Kerry football star Paul Galvin. Just 10 days ago Dónal tweeted “They told me have an early Christmas, but I’m after making it from October to the summer”. Yesterday, he passed away.
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