Limerick Parish ties ribbons in memory of loved

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Ruairi O'Rahilly, teacher to the late Donal Walsh, places a yellow ribbon in honour of Donal on the Rememberance Tree in Moyross. Also Pictured is Fr Tony O'Riordan and Martin Ray [Picture: Dermot Lynch]
MEMBERS of a northside community have been asked to tie yellow ribbons to branches of a tree to remember loved ones.

MEMBERS of a northside community have been asked to tie yellow ribbons to branches of a tree to remember loved ones.

At the annual Moyross Novena, a special ‘Remembrance Tree’ has been set up, giving locals the chance to pay tribute to those who have passed on.

Two names added to it were that of tragic Kerry teenager Donal Walsh, and Robert Sheehan, who was shot dead in Bunratty last September.

Parish priest Fr Tony O’Riordan said: “It is a way of letting people express their love and affection for loved ones who have passed on, and to acknowledge their own sadness. It is another step in coming to terms with loss and grief.”

He said that not only people in Moyross, but those in neighbouring communities have left their mark on the tree.

“It is the first year we have done it, but it seems to be an idea that has captured the imagination. The fact we were there as a community gave people the support that they are not alone in the journey of bereavement and grief.”

The turnout, he added, at this year’s Novena has been “phenomenal”.

On Wednesday night last week, Donal’s PE teacher Ruairi O Rahily shared a story of the young lads cancer fight.

“In an attempt to glorify Donal, we can sometimes lose the fact there is a 16-year-old boy who died, and a grieving mother, father and sister. But the way he faced his death was an inspiration to us all, and to have someone who knew him in the way Ruairi did is a way of connecting with Donal’s strengths and messages.”

Ruairi recalled how Donal insisted on taking part in PE - despite having limbs removed due to his condition - insisting on playing table tennis.

“He wasn’t wallowing in self-pity, he wasn’t going to tell us he could not do it. He was going to do whatever he could,” he recalled.

As a person, Ruairi is proud to have known Donal - although he wishes he was just a normal 16-year-old, not in the national spotlight.