Pieta House Darkness Into Limerick
Suicide charity Pieta House’s annual Darkness into Light fundraising event with Electric Ireland got underway at 4am as an estimated 30,000 people turned out for dawn walks at 20 locations around the country in an incredible show of support for suicide prevention. With twice as many participants as last year, the feeling was one of hope and new beginnings as supporters walked and ran the 5km route in solidarity with those who had lost loved ones to suicide. The Limerick walk started and ended at Thomond Park and over 6,000 Limerick people came out in full force to support the initiative including Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin. “I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the huge numbers that turned out this morning all over the country,” said Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of Pieta House. “Taking part in Darkness into Light is a really special experience and we see so many of the same people coming back to do it year after year. There’s a massive groundswell of support for suicide prevention in this country at the moment and I’m very keen to build on this. We’re here today to show people that there is hope and I’m determined that Pieta House will play a leading role in reducing the suicide rate in Ireland,” she said.
Joan Freeman led out the flagship walk in the Phoenix Park, Dublin while Niall Quinn, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Sinead Desmond, the Dublin football team and members of the Munster rugby squad were among the many well-known faces who took part in the various walks around the country.
With six suicide crisis centres throughout the country including Limerick and three more due to open later this year, Pieta House’s annual running costs now stand at €2.5 million and more funds are constantly required. With more than 80% of the organisation’s income coming from public donations, the success of fundraisers like Darkness into Light is essential to ensure that its professional counselling service can continue to be available free of charge to those in crisis. For more information, log on to www.pieta.ie
To view photos from Darkness Into Light Launch 2013 go HERE.
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