Donal was just 3 years old when he first came into Strand Road and it was here, like many of his age, that he was introduced to the skills of gaelic games and developed his love of football; just as important, he went on to make some lasting friendships which continued all through his all too short life, friendships which were a tremendous support to him and his family as he battled cancer.
The Donal Walsh Livelife Foundation set up in his honour, endorses and advocates positive thinking in teenagers promoting his anti suicide message so powerfully delivered by Donal on his live tv appearance on the Brendan O’Connor Show just weeks before his death in 2013. Many commentators have attributed the dramatic reduction in teenage suicides to the influence of Donal’s message which only this week was raised again by retired coroner for South Kerry, Terence Casey.
The Donal Walsh Livelife Foundation has very kindly come on board with our juvenile club to sponsor an invitational tournament for U-14 boys with the event taking place next weekend Sat 5th May where 8 teams will battle it out for the honour of becoming the inaugural winners of a magnificent cup dedicated to the memory of Donal – there will also be a shield competition plus a player of the tournament trophy. The tournament will be run along the lines of the “Super touch” games, 20 minutes in duration and confined to 9 a side. Matches will take place in Healy Park, Ballyrickard with the finals in the afternoon in Strand Road main pitch.
The 8 teams taking part next weekend are: Austin Stacks, Ballymacelligott, Castlegregory, Firies, John Mitchels, Listowel Emmets, St Pats and of course the hosts, Kerins O’Rahillys.
We would like to thank Elma, Fionnbar & Jema for their gesture in making this tournament possible and wish all the participating teams the best of luck in honouring a teenager whose time with us was all too short but his message continues to resonate with great effect across the nation.