The priest at the funeral mass of Kerry teenager Donal Walsh has urged young people to remember the message the 16-year-old tried to spread.

Fr Francis Nolan told the hundreds of people gathered inside St John's Church in Tralee that Donal's legacy would be encouraging others not to give up, and to believe there is opportunity in every crisis.

The teenager passed away on Sunday having battled cancer for four years.

Donal had appealed to young people not to end their lives.

His courage was acknowledged and praised in the Houses of the Oireachtas and by community leaders.

Thousands of people lined the streets as the cortège made its way from Donal’s home in Blennerville this morning.

Along the way the teenager’s class mates from CBS The Green and teammates from Tralee rugby club and Kerins O'Rahillys GAA club provided a guard of honour.

Six close friends flanked the hearse while the entire school community lined the avenue into the church.

Among those to bring symbols of Donal's life to the altar were Ireland and Leinster player Shane Jennings and Kerry footballer Paul Galvin.

His parents Fionnbar and Elma and sister Jema were joined in mourning by President Michael D Higgins's aide-de-camp, Col Brendan McAndrew.

Over a dozen Munster players, including Donncha O'Callaghan and Simon Zebo, also attended the mass.