'Unfortunately, my journey is drawing to a close' - Terminally ill scout chief's heartbreaking farewell message
A former chief scout has been hailed as "inspirational" for his courage in penning a special farewell message after being informed he has terminal cancer.
Michael John Shinnick (61)pictured, posted the poignant message on Scouting Ireland's website.
He was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago but, despite extensive treatment in Cork and Dublin, has now been told his illness is terminal.
"Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of a wonderful medical team, my own and my family's strength and positive thoughts and, of course, the prayers and well wishes of my thousands of scouting friends across Ireland and further afield, my journey is drawing to a close," he wrote.
"I joined scouting in Fermoy, Co Cork in 1967 and have not looked back since .
"I have had the privilege of being able to contribute to the development of young people through scouting in various roles over the years, both locally and nationally, and I cannot express how honoured I was to be elected as Scouting Ireland's Chief Scout in 2008."
"In all the roles I have held, or projects I was involved with, and indeed in my endeavours outside of scouting, I have tried to let the scout promise and law be my compass... I can say that I did my best," he posted.
Veteran Scouting Ireland official David Barry, a lifelong friend of Mr Shinnick, said his courage and dignity was "inspirational" and "an extraordinary act of courage".
Mr Shinnick is an executive with Fermoy-based firm MicroBio.