Tuesday 6 December 2016

There's great hope for our country thanks to Donal's message

Published 10/02/2014 | 02:30

Donal Walsh
Donal Walsh

The 15-year-old had been crying. The teacher was lovely to her and the girl smiled. Glad but sad. Fulfilled in that she had just been present for an inspirational talk from Donal Walsh's dad Fionnbar. Sad for Donal who died from cancer at 17.

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Teachers were crying too. Donal's message is simple enough. Live Life. And this is the name of the Donal Walsh foundation. There was more. Fionnbar urged the students to talk to the person sitting next to them, if they were in trouble, or to a parent or teacher. Last week, we followed Fionnbar around to three schools as part of the fundraising walk by the students of Tralee CBS The Green, Donal's school, and Mercy Mounthawk, also in the Kerry town.

The boys and girls left the Aviva Stadium after the Ireland-Scotland game last Sunday week and their journey ended in Thomond Park on Saturday night. The youngsters were drenched and frozen from the beginning. Even the three wise men wouldn't set out in such bad weather. The marchers slept on the floor of rugby clubs so as to spare on expenses. Most have colds, a couple flu. Some have forsaken a school tour to Italy. All are fiercely committed, but in a caring, gentle way. There's a Zen about them, calmness.

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