On Thursday last Elma Walsh, mother of Donal Walsh spoke to the senior students of our school. Donal’s refreshing directness, coupled with his ability to celebrate every moment in life impressed a nation when he spoke so eloquently against suicide on Brendan O’Connor’s Saturday Night Show in 2013. He was on air for just 19 minutes, but his impassioned plea to young people not to take their own lives had a far-reaching and lasting effect. Donal’s message was simple — live life to the full no matter what. In a remarkably moving and eloquent letter, he said that he felt nothing but anger when he heard of young people committing suicide and he pleaded with them to seek help, or to stop and consider the consequences of their actions. “So please, 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,” he wrote. Elma started her talk by saying that Donal was a normal teenager. She talked about his illness, his faith and his legacy. The #LifeLive Foundation was set up in Donal’s name by his parents Elma and Fionnbar and has raised €300,600. The Teen Room he campaigned to have built at Crumlin Hospital is up and running. Elma interacted with the girls and had a question and answer session after her talk. The girls felt most fortunate that Mrs. Walsh took the time to come to our school and share Donal’s story and message with them and they have expressed great interest in fundraising for this cause in the near future. Head girl Genevieve Harlow and Deputy Head Girl Laoise Flanagan presented Mrs. Walsh with a token of appreciation from the school.
Pictured are L-R: Laoise Flanagan (Deputy Head Girl) and Genevieve Harlow (Head girl) presenting Mrs. Elma Walsh with a token of appreciation during her recent visit to our school.