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Monday 25 September 2017

Donal's family overwhelmed by charity support

Donal Walsh
Donal Walsh
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THE family of the late Donal Walsh say they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers who have contacted them to lend their support to a charity they set up in their son's name.

Fionnbar Walsh says they have been in "awe" of the influence Donal has had on people all over the country with his life-affirming message to live life.

"We've done nothing and we've asked for nothing but people have come to us with gifts to do things for the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation," he said.

"We're in awe of the influence he had all over the country and how he has affected people in a positive way," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr Walsh unveiled a new fundraising drive at Hogan Car Sales in Limerick yesterday, where a rugby jersey signed by all members of the Lions squad will be auctioned for the charity.

He's also finalising plans with Munster Rugby for one lucky youngster to take part in a training session with the squad, something his own rugby fanatic son would have enjoyed.

Members of the Munster rugby team, some of whom had got to know Donal personally, carried his coffin while other teammates formed a guard of honour at the funeral.

Donal (pictured left) was only 16 when he lost his battle with lung cancer and passed away at the family home in Blennerville, Co Kerry, in May.

Before his death, he came to prominence when he won a local hero award that catapulted him to national attention. Donal spoke and wrote movingly on his experiences as a patient in Crumlin Children's Hospital and the conditions that children had to endure, despite the great care they received from staff.

He also urged other young people not to take their own lives and to seek help if they were feeling suicidal.

Agencies working in suicide prevention have said his words have saved countless lives. In his name, more than €150,000 has been raised for the Crumlin Children's Hospital.

On Friday, Mr Walsh will take part in a leg of the Cross Rugby Legends charity cycle from Malin to Mizen to raise money for cancer research.

Mr Walsh is going to take part in a gruelling 110km stretch from Tralee and will be riding Donal's bike.

Irish Independent

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