The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Donal Walsh RIP - Local Hero, National Shining Light

Last evening our country was brought into sadness by the death of Donal Walsh, the young man who singlehandedly made a difference to the pointless plague of young suicides in Ireland.  Donal’s courage, honesty, and love for life challenge each one of us to make the most of what we have. At this very difficult time we express our sympathies to his parents and wider family.  Please keep them in your prayers at this time.

Donal Walsh was 12-years-old when his doctors found a tumour in his leg.  In the four years to follow, the young boy from Blennerville in Co. Kerry became an ambassador for working with young teens with mental health problems.
He wrote a letter to the editor of the Irish Independent pleading for what he called the “suicide epidemic” in Ireland to be dealt with. He begged young people who felt they had no choice but to take their own lives to reconsider their options and to think of the anguish those left behind would have to face.
“As a 16-year-old who has no say in his death sentence, who has no choice in the pain he is about to cause and who would take any chance at even a few more months on this planet, appreciate what you have, know that there are always other options and help is always there.”
Donal came to national attention when he appeared on The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O’Connor last month. Here, he spoke with Brendan of his battle with his illness and urged young people to seek help if they needed it.
Though he did not intend for his letter to be published, and had written it purely to voice his feelings, Donal accepted that he had become a voice for young people.
“I’ll be happy to die if that’s what I’m dying for.”
Donal was a budding rugby player, and had aspirations toward playing for Munster before his diagnosis. He battled with cancer three times since his initial diagnosis.
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Article posted on 13th of May 2013

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