Monday 18 December 2017

Donal's dad 'filled with pride' over lives saved

Donal Walsh
Donal Walsh
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

KERRY County Coroner Terence Casey has paid tribute to the late teenager Donal Walsh for helping to stem the tide of suicide by reaching out to teenagers with suicidal thoughts.

Mr Casey, coroner for Kerry east and south, said that since February 10 there had been no confirmed suicides in the area, when normally there would be one or two per month.

He said Donal's impassioned appeal to suicidal youths may have played a part in the reduction of suicides in the region. The teenager lost his long battle with cancer last month.

"Well that's three to six lives saved," said Donal's father Fionnbar.

"I know he says that he can't directly attribute it to Donal, but he certainly said that Donal has had some effect. We're filled with pride because of it, he had a message to get across, he was in a unique position to get that message across, and people listen because he was in that unique position."

Donal publicly appealed to teenagers not to take their own lives and, weeks before his death, he recorded a video message to be circulated in schools.

Irish Independent

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