Monday 20 November 2017

Rugby stars line out in Donal's honour for charity

Joanna Kiernan and Declan Whooley

RUGBY mad teenager Donal Walsh, who died last May following his brave battle with cancer, continues to brighten the lives of other sick children.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) lined out a 19-metre piece of rugby artwork at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin yesterday and announced a charity fundraising walk from The Aviva Stadium to Thomond Park.

The artwork for Crumlin was organised by the IRFU and the Donal Walsh #Livelife foundation to launch their joint charity walk, which will involve 50 transition year students from Donal's CBS The Green & Mercy Mounthawk schools in Tralee.

They will bring the 16-year-old's message of hope to rugby clubs and schools across the country as they walk from the Aviva Stadium to Thomond Park.

"This walk brings together the school pals of Donal, his rugby friends and the hospital he was treated in for nearly three years," Donal's mother Elma said.

"We are taking a week out to bring Donal's #Livelife message from the Scotland v Ireland game in the Aviva Stadium to the Munster v Cardiff Blues game in Thomond Park, stopping along the way to talk with schools and rugby clubs."

Mike McCarthy with Petro Hronec
Mike McCarthy with Petro Hronec
Ireland manager Michael Kearney, Dara O'Connelly, Ireland's Jack McGrath, Elma Walsh, Jamie Lee Reilly McManus, Ireland's Rob Kearney, Lauren Crowley and John Early
Rob Kearney with Melissa Wilson
Jack McGrath with Evan Power

Donal hit national prominence in the months before his death when he urged other young people to live life to the full and to work against the scourge of teen suicide.

The walk will take place from February 2 to 8, 2014.

It is hoped that the initiative will raise money for the #Livelife Foundation, The Children's Medical and Research Foundation Crumlin and Tralee RFC.

Irish Independent

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