Donal’s legacy lives on in Limerick

pr80093_[3]_Unveiling Donal Room Console_09THE anti-suicide legacy of 16-year-old Donal Walsh will live on in Limerick with the opening of two rooms in his honour for young people at Console suicide prevention and bereavement centre in Raheen.

The Tralee teenager, who lost his five-year battle with cancer last year, touched the hearts of the nation with his campaign against suicide. Donal, who spent every day fighting to survive his illness, had said cases in which youngsters had taken their own lives had angered him.

The young Kerry student’s legacy now lives on in Limerick with the opening of Donal’s Rooms at the Console centre in Raheen, funded by the Donal Walsh LiveLife fund. Console provides a broad range of community-based supports, services and resources for those affected by, or at risk of suicide.

“We have created two rooms specially designed so that children and teenagers in distress can feel safe and where they can get immediate professional help, counselling and support,” announced Console CEO Paul Kelly.

Donal’s mother Elma thanked the community in Limerick for their fundraising efforts for the Donal Walsh LiveLife fund which have created both children’s and teenagers’ rooms.

She also expressed her delight that Donal’s two main messages, the need for suicide prevention and teen care facilities, have come together under one roof at Console’s Limerick centre.

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“The money to refurbish these rooms was raised in Limerick and it’s great to be able to use it for such a worthwhile facility,” said Ms Walsh.
“We’ve got fantastic support from the local community and I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the Great Limerick Run; Olive Foley, who sold Munster rugby jerseys, and all the schools who helped raise funds,” Elma commented.

Console centre manager Emer O’Neill said the newly opened Donal’s Rooms are already proving a great success in helping troubled teenagers and children to open up to counsellors.

“Features such as sandboxes and toys in the children’s room and an iPad station with a wide selection of music in the teenagers’ room, encourage young people who find it difficult to express their emotions to relax and interact with their counsellors,” she explained.

Nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide on freephone 1800 247 247.