Now Donal's message on way to Vatican city
POPE Francis will be presented with two scrolls containing some of the writings of inspirational teenager Donal Walsh in the Vatican this month.
Cyclist Tom Foley (35) has set out from Tralee with the scrolls as part of the Home to Rome challenge where 32 cyclists, representing the 32 counties, will cycle to Rome to raise money for cancer care and research.
Donal's parents, Fionnbar and Elma, presented the scrolls to the church at a special birthday remembrance Mass in St John's Church, Tralee on what would have been their son's 18th birthday on June 15.
Yesterday, they released 18 balloons at New Rath Cemetery, where Donal is buried, before Tom set off on his journey.
The cloth scrolls feature two of the best-known pieces by the Co Kerry teenager (pictured), who came to national prominence in the months before he died as a campaigner against youth suicide.
One of the scrolls contains Donal's message on suicide while the other piece, 'Climbing God's Mountain', is his life-affirming message written before his death from cancer last May.
Papal Nuncio Charles Brown has given his blessing to the fundraiser and has translated one of the scrolls into Latin.
Tom is completing the challenge on behalf of the Kerry Hospice but the cyclists will be joined on the last leg of their journey into the Eternal City by Donal's mother Elma.
Money raised in each county will go towards supporting cancer services in that county.