independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Donal's influence lives on with €17,000 raised in art sale

James Rusk and Elma Walsh present a cheque for €9000.84 to Gerry Cully, Fundraiser Manager of Crumlin Children's Hospital, the proceeds of Tralee Boxing club tournament in The Brandon Hotel in May inspired by the late Donal Walsh. Pictured also are Pat O'Shea, Fionnbar Walsh, Seamus O'Mahony, Noel Kelliher, Lisa Carolan, Tommy Kelliher and Con O'Shea. The club wishes to thank The Brandon Hotel and the people of Tralee for supporting the event.

AN art auction, featuring works created by leading artists, celebrities and famous figures from the world of sport and music, which was promoted by inspirational anti suicide campaigner Donal Walsh before his death has raised almost €17,000 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

AN art auction, featuring works created by leading artists, celebrities and famous figures from the world of sport and music, which was promoted by inspirational anti suicide campaigner Donal Walsh before his death has raised almost €17,000 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

The celebrity art auction, the brainchild KGH Palliative Care Unit Psychotherapist Trish Healy herself a talented artist took place at the unit on Friday evening when over 160 prints by some of Ireland's leading artists, celebrities and sports stars went under the hammer.

The Palliative Care unit was packed for the event and bidding for the various unique works was intense.

Plans for the event began to take shape just after Christmas when a group of Hospice volunteers and staff got together to discuss the feasibility of putting Trish's plan for a celebrity art show together.

Letters were written to artists and celebrities alike, asking that they complete an art piece which would be sold to benefit the Hospice. The response was phenomenal and contributions were received from artists including Pauline Bewick, Alice Maher, Mary Neville and Michael Flaherty.

Work was also submitted by Irish sporting icons including Ireland Munster and Lions rugby Paul O'Connell, Simon Zebo and Tommy Bowe as well as personalities including Laura Whitmore, Rosanna Davison, Johnny Giles and Maxim from dance music legends The Prodigy. By the time the auction rolled around in excess of 160 prints were submitted.

There was also an air of poignancy and respect in the air on Friday night as the late Donal Walsh was fondly remembered.

In the weeks prior to his sad passing Donal was responsible for getting many of the celebrities on board and he was represented at the auction by his mother Elma.

In the end the auction raised close to €17,000 which will go towards the Kerry Hospice Foundation's effort to raise €2 million in the next two years in order to open a 15 bed specialist palliative in-patient facility at Palliative Care Unit.

Meanwhile, Tralee Boxing Club handed over a cheque to Our Lady Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin on Monday.

Just over €9,000 was raised in a boxing tournament held in the Brandon Hotel in late May which was inspired by Donal Walsh's campaign.

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