Brave Donal's family thanks public for support
THE family of anti-suicide campaigner Donal Walsh has issued a heartfelt "thank you" to the public for the support they received during his illness and after his death.
Donal, from Tralee, Co Kerry, died last month following a long battle with cancer. Last Saturday would have marked his 17th birthday.
The young man's life and his selfless appeal to vulnerable young people to say no to suicide struck a chord with the entire nation.
Fionnbar and Elma, Donal's parents, along with his sister Jema, said that they were "eternally grateful" to everyone who offered their support, in a letter to the Irish Independent.
"Over the last five years we have received incredible support as a family while Donal battled with his disease," the letter said.
"Initially it was mainly local support but since he came to prominence by his writings and interviews, we have had nothing but positive well wishers locally, from across the country and internationally," it added.
Among those to attend Donal's funeral last month were Munster rugby player and former All-Black Doug Howlett. Donal was a keen sportsman and he had often talked about his dream to play for Munster as well as to travel the world.
Last weekend the family marked what would have been his 17th birthday, a month on from his death. They were joined by friends in St John's Church, in Tralee.