Donal Walsh’s message lives on through teenagers

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

Transition year pupils from St Mary's Secondary School in Newport, who made a video for a film competition in memory of the late Donal Walsh
THE LATE Donal Walsh has inspired a generation of Irish teenagers including pupils from St Mary’s Secondary School in Newport.

THE LATE Donal Walsh has inspired a generation of Irish teenagers including pupils from St Mary’s Secondary School in Newport.

They, along with many schools in Limerick, have submitted an entry for the Lights Camera Live Life National Film Competition. The theme is live life – Donal’s message.

Castleconnell teenager Rachel McGill and her transition year classmates certainly encompassed that with their entry.

“The idea behind it is an old couple looking back on their memories and remembering the good times,” said Rachel, who is only 15 years-old.

She and her fellow classmates shot the video over two weeks and spent hours and hours perfecting it. They put the video to Kodaline’s song Way Back When so it fits in perfectly.

It is sure to be a contender as it was made so professionally. The even went to the trouble of getting old clothes for the boys and girls to show the passing of time.

“Everybody was excellent. The girls in the year were very good with the hair and make-up. We had a lot of fun making it,” said Rachel, who edited and filmed the piece.

Asked what Donal Walsh and his message means to her, she says “To live life to the full”.

“That was his message too, to have fun and enjoy your life,” said Rachel, who plans on doing a film-making course when she leaves school. Rachel also hopes that Irish band Kodaline get to see the video.

“Kodaline don’t have a video for that song so we are trying to get it to them to see it because we think it has potential,” said Rachel.

Transition year teacher, Audrey O’Rourke said the idea for the video came completely from the pupils.

“We got the information about the film competition in the school. I put it to them and they just ran with it. There are 38 in two class groups. Both classes made films that are being entered. Like Rachel, Jack Clohessy was very involved in that one,” said Ms O’Rourke, who added that she was very proud of all her pupils.

“They have amazing talent. Rachel did the editing and the production, and other kids were very good at acting and brought in costumes and make-up.

“They spent about 10 days to do all the different scenes and co-ordinate it all,” said Ms O’Rourke. The link for the video is and it has already been viewed over 600 times.

The event is being run by the Live Life Foundation and the creative media department in the Institute of Technology, Tralee to honour Donal Walsh’s memory.

Prizes will be presented this Friday, February 14.

Donal Walsh, whose father Fionnbar is from Knocklong, fundraised tirelessly while battling cancer. His family set up the Life Life Foundation to continue his causes and promote his anti-suicide message.