Darkness into Light Limerick 2016 supported by Electric Ireland, kicked off in the early hours of Saturday morning, May 7, with up to 15,000 people participants in Limerick alone.
The 5km walk took place in various locations around Limerick: in Limerick city, Kilmallock and Newcastle West, with all of the proceeds going directly to Pieta House. There were approximately 120 locations nationwide and 120’000 national participants.
The city centre location, Thomond Park, welcomed more than 10,000 people for this unique, 4.15am event.
A sea of yellow-shirted participants followed a route along the quays, over Sarsfield Bridge and Shannon Bridge, before landing back to Thomond Park.
Mr. Johnny Togher, a member of the darkness into light limerick 2016 Committee spoke on behalf of the organisers saying, “We are absolutely thrilled, it’s just incredible to think that at 4am more than 10,000 people came out of their beds and walked in support of Pieta House and walked from darkness into light.”
The route was patrolled by members of An Garda Síochána, the Corbett suicide prevention patrol and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue. Candle-light words of “hope” lit the way for participants as they walked, jogged and ran from darkness into light.
The 5km event was open to men, women and children, of all ages and abilities. The participants travelled from all parts of Limerick to take part in the event – which aims to raise awareness of suicide in Ireland – most crossing the finish before 5.30 am.
Cappamore native, Maura Walsh, her husband Ignatius and daughter Elaine praised the initiative, “We are just here to show solidarity with people who have problems and just to say thanks for our own good look. It’s fantastic, I think it’s fantastic and I just think everybody is in solidarity with the people who have suffered and who are suffering.”
Suicide touches many people in direct or indirect ways. One participant of darkness into light limerick 2016, Mr. John Cronin from Broad Street, who lost a number of friends through suicide, told of his massive loss,
“They suffered from depression and they took their own lives and I am just here to honour their lives. They were young, they were old, they took their lives needlessly and it those who they left behind who suffered most,” John explained.
Thomond Park was a canvas for heart touching messages, whereby a Banner of Hope was erected by the organisers, giving people the opportunity to express their thoughts.
Pieta House, which has been availed of by more than 20,000 people this year, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. More great news is that the tenth Irish Pieta centre will open in county Waterford in June, this year.
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Check out all the darkness into light limerick 2016 photos here
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