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Saturday 20 September 2014

RTE documentary on brave Donal

Simon Brouder

Published 25/12/2013 | 05:36

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A DOCUMENTARY about the inspirational Donal Walsh, the young anti-suicide and cancer awareness campaigner who passed away in May, will be aired on RTE on New Year's Day.

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'Donal Walsh – My Story' will be broadcast on RTE Two on New Year's Day as part of the Reality Bites series. The documentary tells the story of the Blennerville teenager in his own words and those of his family, friends and others whose came into contact with him.

By the time he died of cancer, aged just 16, Donal Walsh had touched the whole nation with his simple message that it's good to be alive.

The documentary shows footage of Donal hanging out with his family and his four closest friends and enjoying his finals months. As well as detailing Donal's extraordinary life and his empowering message, the documentary also features contributions with some of Ireland's leading sporting figures with whom Donal became close friends as he battled cancer and spread his life-affirming message. Among the many contributors are Ireland and Munster rugby legend Paul O'Connell, Leinster rugby's Shane Jennings and Kerry GAA star Paul Galvin.

TV chat show host and journalist Brendan O'Connor, whose interview with the young Blennerville man made Donal Walsh a household name, also appears in the documentary as does Donal's former teacher, Ruairi O'Rahily, who first nominated his student for the local hero award that brought Donal to national attention.

Donal's father, Fionbarr Walsh, said he's constantly surprised how his son's story seemed to capture the imagination of the country.

"In the midst of the tragedy that it was, it was also the first good news story in years and I think people latched onto that," he said.

"If the showing of the documentary means Donal can uplift a few people in a black moment over Christmas it will just bring out his message again," said Fionbarr.

"It was an incredibly simple message, go out there and live life and make the most of it. He wasn't going to get that chance, but he wanted other people to."

Donal Walsh – My Story will be broadcast on Wednesday, January 1 at 9.30pm on RTE Two.

Kerryman

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