Dónal Walsh - national hero

Iphonista

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We hear a lot about suicide these days; it seems to be a particular problem amongst young males. One of the most depressing aspects of it is how a cluster can occur in a small geographical area. One person chooses to take their own life and others, perhaps driven by the fuss and attention around the recently departed one, do the same.

See the article below. The young man from County Kerry will probably soon no longer be with us. He's got terminal cancer and in his own words, his death will not be his own choice. In a letter this week, he speaks of his anger at those who take their own lives. While he, in the few months that are left to him, is bravely and unselfishly trying to prepare his family and friends for his death, to leave as little a mess as possible, others in perfect health, throw it all away and commit suicide, leaving unimaginable heartbreak and pain behind them.

He is only 16 yet he is showing maturity and wisdom far beyond his years. I watched his interview last night on the Saturday Night Show and I was nearly in tears at times. There's no doubt in my mind that his words will save lives and cause people who might have been thinking of committing suicide to think again and reflect on the positives in their lives.

In his short life, he has already, in my humble opinion become a true national hero.

Terminally ill 16-year-old takes his anti-suicide campaign to RTE - Independent.ie
 
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Asparagus

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While suicide is largely a mental health issue and depression needs to be normalised and discussed in public, (rather than a purely selfish act) I applaud his spirit and his benevolence. It would be very easy to curl up in a ball and die, but this guy seems to want to have some legacy.
 

Sync

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"I realised that I was fighting for my life for the third time in four years, and this time I have no hope"

Yet still I hear of young people committing suicide and I’m sorry but it makes me feel nothing but anger. I feel angry that these people choose to take their lives, to ruin their families and to leave behind a mess that no one can clean up.

Yet I am here with no choice, trying as best I can to prepare my family and friends for what’s about to come and leave as little a mess as possible.

I know that most of these people could be going through financial despair and have other problems in life, but I am at the depths of despair and believe me there is a long way to go before you get to where I am. For these people, no matter how bad life gets, there are no reasons bad enough to make them do this. If they slept on it or looked for help they could find a solution and they need to think of the consequences of what they are about to do.

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.”
It's an open letter so no issue reprinting it. On an individual level it's incredibly impressive that he's taking some of his limited time remaining to try and improve the outlook for Irish youth. On a general level hopefully this letter will give people pause for thought and encourage them to open up.
 

toconn

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I don't know this lad personally but I am good friends with people who do and also via the rugby playing community. From what's hear he has always been a tremendous person and has borne his troubles with incredible fortitude. A fine young man indeed and whilst its heartbreaking to know the outcome that awaits him it's also an inspiration just to hear him try to make a difference to others.
 

Iphonista

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While suicide is largely a mental health issue and depression needs to be normalised and discussed in public, (rather than a purely selfish act) I applaud his spirit and his benevolence. It would be very easy to curl up in a ball and die, but this guy seems to want to have some legacy.
Discussion of depression and suicidal thoughts should definitely be normalised but not with a view to normalising the act itself, IMHO.
 

ruserious

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Saw him on Brendan O'Connor last night.

Worth a watch on RTÉ Player.
 

Just Jack

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Poor lad.

Very sad.
 

44percent

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I'm not sure if personal depression explains all the suicides. This young man speaks passionately out of his own experience which is difficult to say the least. A big learning experience for everyone is when they realise that not everyone thinks the same way as them. I wish him and his family whatever peace they can find.
 

Iphonista

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I'm not sure if personal depression explains all the suicides. This young man speaks passionately out of his own experience which is difficult to say the least. A big learning experience for everyone is when they realise that not everyone thinks the same way as them. I wish him and his family whatever peace they can find.
I'm sure it doesn't. Some people who commit suicide are outwardly quite cheerful and positive. This makes it all the harder to explain and for the family to deal with.

We need people to understand that it's quite common to feel depressed, even to have suicidal thoughts. Beyond that, people need to know that there is help out there.

I'm going to be slightly harsh here. If someone commits suicide, the focus should be entirely on the family and friends and the pain that the act has caused. The late departed should not be celebrated. In many young minds craving attention, the fuss around the person who took their own life might seem weirdly attractive.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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I take issue with the OP describing people, contemplating suicide, as being in perfect health. Clearly some have serious mental health issues.

This is not the thread for this debate, though (nor is the other existing thread on this poor young man).
 

Lonewolfe

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I take issue with the OP describing people, contemplating suicide, as being in perfect health. Clearly some have serious mental health issues.

This is not the thread for this debate, though (nor is the other existing thread on this poor young man).
I agree wholeheartedly. Most people who commit suicide are far, far from being in "perfect health" - again, this is ignorance, plain and simple.

Well done to Donal for his bravery and his commitment to humanity.
 

eoghanacht

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So because this lad is sick he's allowed take the moral highground?
 

eoghanacht

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I'm sure it doesn't. Some people who commit suicide are outwardly quite cheerful and positive. This makes it all the harder to explain and for the family to deal with.

We need people to understand that it's quite common to feel depressed, even to have suicidal thoughts. Beyond that, people need to know that there is help out there.

I'm going to be slightly harsh here. If someone commits suicide, the focus should be entirely on the family and friends and the pain that the act has caused. The late departed should not be celebrated. In many young minds craving attention, the fuss around the person who took their own life might seem weirdly attractive.
Absolute drivel.
 

Iphonista

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I take issue with the OP describing people, contemplating suicide, as being in perfect health. Clearly some have serious mental health issues.

This is not the thread for this debate, though (nor is the other existing thread on this poor young man).
Where is the other thread?
 

Iphonista

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So because this lad is sick he's allowed take the moral highground?
Terminally ill with nothing to gain personally from this. Nevertheless by his actions he may save many lives. So yes, that gives him the moral high ground. If that arouses a petulant fury in you, then get over it.
 


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