Yesterday it was the turn of Irish rugby player 24-year-old Peter O’Mahony. It started with a tear as the camera hovered over him when he was standing in line, belting out Amhran na bhFiann and then Ireland’s Call before the match with Wales. Then there was that moment early in the first half when he stood up and let out a primeval roar having poached the ball off Wales, a pattern which he repeated throughout the match which saw him deservedly being deemed Man of The Match. He played every minute as if it was his last. His passion for rugby and, through it, life, is breathtaking, inspring. I cried with life-reinforcing pride.
Earlier this week I heard that Lucy Stack, the 27-year-old wife of Fozzy Stack, from a highly respected racing family, had taken her own life. In a last letter to friends which was read out at her funeral, she spoke of this being her destiny, of how no phone call or chats over wine could have changed what was about to happen. I cried when I read this. Here was a beautiful young woman, who apparently had so much going for her, was so loved and loving and respected, yet the pull to leave this world was greater. I cried, for the loss to herself, those close to her and what lies in store for them. Life can be so fragile.
Today, O’Mahony will be battered and bruised but his family and friends will be bursting with pride. The hearts of Lucy Stack’s family and friends will be bursting too, but with an incomprehensible grief.
May she rest in peace.
She says: A strong faith in God is a remarkable link in two of the most significant events involving Irish people in the past year; Katie Taylor winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Boxing and the selfless way in which Donal Walsh went about saving the lives of young people as his own live was being so tragically drained away
Katie Taylor has always spoke unashamedly of the importance of her faith and, in victory, did not forget her gratitude. The example of her victory and her modest lifestyle before and since have set her out as a person that the Irish nation and especially our children rightly admire.
When Donal Walsh first wrote of suicide, it was in a letter of anger and to his pals, urging them to see that there were always other options, from someone who wanted so much to live but had no choice in the matter.
There is no death worse than that of a child; sincere condolences to his family.
It is a testament to us that we as a people saw and responded to what he was saying. His remaining time was short but he had an impact on this world that most of us never will.
Were I knowingly faced with my own impending demise I think it highly unlikely that I would have the generosity and depth of spirit to turn it into something that has reportedly already saved lives and no doubt will continue to so. He has inspired a nation and gone a good way down the road to changing the mindset of a generation.
Neither Katie of Donal preached about the merits of one religion over another; what was important was God.
As the cancer drained away his life he remained angry but said it was something he would accept if it got across God’s message about the sanctity of life. Would that we would/could all find such moral leadership in our lives the whole world would/will be a better place.
Who among does not waste time out of every day, put things off until tomorrow, shelved spontaneous stuff for the time that never comes?
Donal Walsh has no more tomorrows but we do.