Thursday 23 October 2014

Donal shines a light

Published 21/05/2014 | 05:36

Donal Walsh’s sister Jemma, father Fionnbar and mother Elma at the unveiling of the stained glass window of Donal by artist Mary J Leen at the CBS School on the Green. Photo: Eye Focus LTD

A STUNNING new memorial to the life and inspirational message of Donal Walsh has been unveiled in the young Blennerville man's former school, CBS The Green in Tralee.

On Tuesday Donal's family, his closest friends, schoolmates and staff of the school gathered for the unveiling of a beautiful stained glass window that was made specially to commemorate the life of the anti suicide and cancer awareness campaigner who lost his own brave and lengthy battle with cancer a year ago.

The large stained glass window, which has pride of place in the school's main hallway, was made by Tralee artist Mary J Leen who told guests at the ceremony that she had been deeply moved and inspired by Donal's passion for life and his brave battle against cancer.

The memorial features a portrait of a smiling and typically cheerful Donal Walsh as its centrepiece surrounded by the text of his life affirming last message and the signatures of some of the many people whose life he touched.

Watched by Donal's parents Fionbarr and Elma and his sister Jemma, the window was officially unveiled and blessed by Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne who praised Donal's great spirit, powerful message and life saving legacy.

The window was paid for thanks to contributions from the families of Mike Keane and Richie White, Kerins O'Rahilly's GAA Club, Tralee Rugby Club, Jay Galvin, the Kerry Cancer Support Group and CBS The Green.

The unveiling of the window came just a day after Paul Kelly, CEO and founder of suicide charity Console, praised Donal's continuing message of hoppe after specialist rooms for children and teens, set up in Donal's memory, were opened at the charity's Limerick offices.

Further 'Donal's rooms' will be opened at Console offices in Kerry, Galway and Dublin in the coming months.

Donal's Rooms were funded by the Donal Walsh LiveLife fund and are dedicated to furthering the message of suicide prevention to young people. Donal's own friends will be designing the Kerry rooms and they are expected be open in the next two months


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