Monday 29 December 2014

Donal Walsh's dad pens book celebrating young hero's life and legacy

Published 05/05/2014 | 02:30

Fionnbarr Walsh, father of the late Donal Walsh, at a book signing at O'Mahony Book store in Tralee, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh / Eye Focus
Fionnbarr Walsh, father of the late Donal Walsh, at a book signing at O'Mahony Book store in Tralee, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh / Eye Focus
Donal Walsh inspired many during his 16 years

FIONNBAR Walsh has revealed how he had to rewrite 20 chapters of his new book about his son Donal after he drove off forgetting he had left his computer on the roof of his car.

But the father of two said the writing of 'Donal's Mountain – How one son Inspired a Nation' was the easiest part of a process that at times got emotional and hard to bear.

"The hardest part was the reading back on it afterwards and having to go through it all again and I found that tearful at times."

Coming up to the first anniversary of Donal's death on May 12, Mr Walsh is embarking on a nationwide tour which he describes as an "accidental book signing" because it happens to coincide with a series of engagements where he has been asked to address the students of 16 primary and post-primary schools.

"It was the young people themselves who asked us to come because they wanted to hear Donal's story and who are we to refuse them," he said.

But he said the first signing of his new book would have to be in Tralee in O'Mahony's Bookshop in the town that had "silently honoured" his son on the day of his funeral.

Donal's appearance on the 'Saturday Night Show' in the weeks prior to his death after he won a Radio Kerry/ Kerry's Eye Local Hero Award made a lasting impression on the nation.

Though he was facing his own death from cancer, Donal spoke of his love of life and all he was leaving behind and he urged other young people to seek help if they were feeling suicidal.

In his own county alone, he is credited with being responsible for a massive drop of 65pc in the rate of young suicides.

Irish Independent

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