'Donal's Day' will fit right in

The late Donal Walsh. Photo: Domnick Walsh
The late Donal Walsh. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Simon Brouder

THE final day of the 2013 Rose of Tralee Festival is to be dedicated to the inspirational young anti-suicide and cancer awareness campaigner Donal Walsh, whose death earlier this year moved the entire nation.

The festival has teamed up with the Donal's parents, Fionbarr and Elma, and the #Livelife Foundation set up in his name, to organise 'Donal's Day' which will take place on Tuesday, August 20, the day the 2013 Rose of Tralee will be crowned.

On Donal's Day a special street collection will be held in Tralee to raise money for the charities and causes that were special to the young Blennerville native.

"This boy was a native of Tralee, played sports with Tralee clubs, went to The Green School and is one of our own," said Rose of Tralee general manager Oliver Hurley.

"His words of wisdom, from one so young, are likened to the other literary masters of north Kerry and we must not forget how he touched the lives of so many people towards the end of his own short life.

"Donal's Day is our way of keeping his positive messages alive as well as offering funding assistance to teenagers who are suffering from serious illnesses." said Mr Hurley.

Donal Walsh fundraised tirelessly during his four-year battle against cancer and the #Livelife Foundation has been set up to help to achieve his goal of providing age appropriate facilities for teenagers in hospitals and hospice centres, as well as promoting his anti-suicide message.

Kare 4 Kids and the Palliative Care Unit at Kerry General Hospital are two of the selected charities to benefit from Donal's Day and the #Livelife Foundation.

Oliver Hurley has encouraged anyone planning to visit Tralee on Tuesday August 20 to give what they can to support Donal's Day.

Crowds will be in Tralee to attend the festival food and craft market from early morning and later events such as the Spin Southwest Sunset Gig, concerts by Hermitage Green and the Midnight Madness event which will bring the 2103 festival to a close. Collectors will be on hand from 9am until the end of the night's entertainment.