Monday 20 November 2017

Billy Keane: Donal Walsh's candle of hope still lights way

Two years after the death of the inspirational teenager, his legacy lives on with his family

Donal Walsh
Donal Walsh
Donal Walsh died on May 12, 2013 and his parents have kept his room exactly as it was since then
Donal's beloved dog Shirley
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

I never met a saint's dog before. The old collie cross waddled over to us, sideways to sideways, like a listing ship on a swell. Shirley is her name and she checks every car for Donal. Donal Walsh's second anniversary is coming up next Tuesday, but still Shirley keeps her vigil. Donal was mad about Shirley.

The faded rugby ball beached on the driveway was badly in need of pumping. Eighty students from Tipperary couldn't resist a kickabout with Donal Walsh's rugby ball. They asked to see Donal's red shed, the den where he met up with his pals. The message stencilled on the wall by Donal himself is LIVE LIFE. Donal knew he was dying, but he begged others to live and he has saved so many who were contemplating ending their precious lives.

The teenagers asked to see Donal's room. The room he died in.

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