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Munster players carry coffin as cancer hero Donal is laid to rest

MEMBERS of the Munster rugby squad shouldered the coffin of Donal Walsh, the teenager credited with inspiring their win over Harlequins last month, at his funeral today.

Donal, who was a close friend of squad member and Ireland international Paul O'Connell, left a lasting impression on the team, who wanted to have a role in his funeral.

The coffin of the 16-year-old was carried the three miles from his home on Hare Street, Blennerville to St John's Church in Tralee for requiem Mass at noon.


The popular teenager passed away at the family home on Sunday night after losing his battle with lung cancer.

"He has climbed his highest mountain now and is at peace," dad Fionnbar told the Herald.

Donal came to national prominence in April after he won a local hero award, but it was his message to young people to seek help if they are suicidal that is his lasting legacy.

Junior Minister with responsibility for mental health, Kathleen Lynch, was among the mourners who called to the family home last night.

The funeral cortege madee its way from the family home through Lower Cannan and to Kerins O'Rahilly GAA club for a moment's silence.

Students from most of the schools in Tralee formed a guard of honour, lining the way to the town centre.

Yesterday, a steady stream of mourners passed through the Walsh family home.

Among the first to arrive was Kerry senior football manager, Eamon Fitzmaurice and players Killian Young, Bryan Sheehan, Kieran Donaghy and Marc O Se, a teacher at CBS The Green, where Donal was a student.