By Dermot Crean
THERE have been four reported suicides in south Kerry since Donal Walsh came to national prominence in March 2013, down from 28 on the previous 12 months.
The figures came from South Kerry Coroner, Terence Casey, who told Donal’s father, Fionnbar, when he met him in Killarney on Thursday. Mr Walsh revealed the figures in a speech to students in the CBS The Green gym on Friday when the Cycle Against Suicide participants paid a visit to the school.
The cyclists were completing the Donal Walsh Memorial leg of the cycle, named after the anti-suicide campaigner who took part in a similar cycle fundraiser two years ago.
The coroner told Mr Walsh that since Donal appeared on Radio Kerry’s ‘Kerry Today’ programme in March 2013 to receive a local hero award, there have been four reported suicides in the south Kerry area.
This is a drop of 24 from the 28 reported in the 12 months prior to that interview. (see video)
Mr Casey has spoken in the past of the effect Donal Walsh has had on young people and his influence in preventing them from taking their own lives, since the Tralee teenager came to national prominence in the months prior to his death.
Mr Walsh will be signing copies of his book, ‘Donal’s Mountain’ at First Chapter bookshop in the Manor West Retail Centre on Sunday from 2-4pm.