Pictured Above: Richard Lynch (ILoveLimerick.com), Nora Conway (Manager Pieta House), Joan Freeman (Pieta House Founder), Ita Treacy (DIL Newcastle West) and Tony Sheridan (Chairperson DIL Limerick City).
Picture by: Oisin McHugh.
More than 80 people came to The Strand Hotel, Limerick on Tuesday, March 24 as Pieta House launched Limerick’s Darkness Into Light events with Electric Ireland. Taking place on Saturday, May 9, Darkness Into Light is a unique, early morning experience which begins in darkness at 4.15am as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while dawn is breaking.
Joan Freeman, founder of the suicide and self-harm crisis centre was joined by a number of supporters including: Micheal Sheahan, Mayor of Limerick, Dawn Ryan, Limerick Rose, Leah Melling, singer, Kevin Downes, Limerick Senior Hurler, Joy Neville, Irish Rugby Star, Shauna Lindsay, model, Conor Walsh, Rose of Tralee Escort of the year, John Riordan, Pat O’Sullivan, Masterchef, Senior Limerick footballer and the current Rose of Limerick 2015 contenders. Representatives from Pieta House and volunteers from the Darkness Into Light committees from across Limerick were also there to offer their support.
Last year almost 8,000 people took part in Darkness Into Light in county Limerick. Darkness Into Light is now in its seventh year and last year’s event attracted 80,000 participants in 39 locations across Ireland, including in London and Sydney. With the number of locations doubling this year, organisers are expecting over 100,000 people to take part. 80 venues will host the event on the island of Ireland and abroad including in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and the USA.
Pieta House founder, Joan Freeman, said: “Darkness Into Light is a people’s event organised by local committees all over the country. Although the number of people walking has never been greater, neither has the need. With three venues set to host the event in Limerick this year, including Kilmallock for the first time, it’s an example of how Darkness Into Light is uniting people across the globe in solidarity with those who suffer.” She added, “While suicide is a devastating tragedy, we must not forget that there is hope, there is help, and Pieta House will be there to provide both.”
While Darkness Into Light raises much needed funds, it is also about awareness, solidarity and local communities. This year, Pieta House is asking those taking part to connect with others at the event. Walkers/runners are encouraged to speak to the person beside them, tell a story or simply say hello, connect and acknowledge one another. Make your presence known. No one should walk alone.
Limerick’s Darkness Into Light events are taking registrations now. Online registration and further details are available now at their website here. For more information on Darkness Into Light in Limerick, contact Kieran O’Brien on 061 484444.
Pieta House is a suicide and self-harm crisis centre founded in Lucan, Co. Dublin in 2006. With 9 centres throughout Ireland, Pieta House provides a professional, one-to-one therapeutic service for those who are experiencing suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm. A doctor’s referral or psychiatric report is not required and the service is completely free of charge. Pieta House has supported 17,500 people, with more than 5,000 of those seeking help in 2014. Pieta House’s vision is to have a centre within 100 kilometres of everyone in Ireland.
Pieta House will set up its first pilot service in New York this summer as part of its plans to reach out to Irish diaspora who may be in need of the service. The service will be run from a room within the Irish Immigrant Centre in Queens, one of the main Irish communities in New York. The service is part of the overall plan to expand internationally.
Read more about Darkness Into Light here.
Photos copyright Oisin Mc Hugh for I Love Limerick 2015. All Rights Reserved.