Brendan O'Connor: He took what life he had and made it matter
When I heard Donal Walsh had died, I couldn't help thinking of Spike Milligan's line: I told you I was sick. For those of us who didn't know Donal, who didn't live with his illness and see its progress, there was a strange sense of surprise that he had really died, that his young life was actually snuffed out in the end. Obviously everyone knew Donal was dying. His imminent death was central to the life-affirming message he brought to the nation. But somehow, when the inevitable came, it was a shock. I suppose this young man, whom none of us really knew but we all felt we knew, didn't seem like the type to die.