THE family of Kerry teenager Donal Walsh has appealed to young people to remember his message against suicide, as they face their first Christmas without their son.
“This year, we lost a son and a brother. We are heartbroken and at times the future does not seem too bright but at times like this we think of Donal and the life he wanted to live,” Elma, Fionnbar and Jema said.
“He would not have wanted us to use his death as an excuse for sadness but more as a motivation to keep his message to cherish living and life.
The 16-year-old anti-suicide campaigner from Tralee was diagnosed with a tumour in his leg when he was 12. He underwent numerous treatments to fight the disease but he died at home in Blennerville surrounded by his family.
The teenager bravely campaigned against suicide, particularly among teenagers.
Hundreds paid tribute to the avid rugby fan on Twitter, with politicians and sports stars describing him as a hero and an inspiration.
More than 14,000 people followed Donal on Twitter, who wrote his last tweet on May 8.
Donal was interviewed on many occasions about his hopes that young people would see some way forward other than suicide. He made a video for the National Office for Suicide Prevention, which will be soon distributed to schools and put on the website.