Tuesday 6 December 2016

Darkness into Light: More than 150k early risers walked into dawn across Ireland

Published 07/05/2016 | 06:51

Candles spell out the message of the Darkness into Light event in Malahide - HOPE.
Candles spell out the message of the Darkness into Light event in Malahide - HOPE.

More than 150,000 early risers took part in an annual walk in aid of suicide prevention charity Pieta House, which celebrates its 10th year in action.

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The Darkness into Light walk took place in 90 locations around Ireland and in a number of international cities, including Toronto, Calgary, Sydney and Abu Dhabi.

The event kicked off at 4.15am in memory of people who lost their lives to suicide. The country's largest event took place in Dublin's Phoenix Park where more than 150,000 people began the walk in total darkness, before finishing in the morning light.

Speaking to thousands of attendees, all wearing Pieta House's yellow t-shirt, the charity's founder Joan Freeman said a lot has been done to address depression and self harm in Irish society, but a lot more needs to be done.

Joan Freeman, Founder of suicide and self-harm crisis centre Pieta House, joined by Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan at the launch of Darkness Into Light 2016 in association with Electric Ireland in The Pearse Centre in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Joan Freeman, Founder of suicide and self-harm crisis centre Pieta House, joined by Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan at the launch of Darkness Into Light 2016 in association with Electric Ireland in The Pearse Centre in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

Last year more than 100,000 thousand people took part in the walk, which is the only annual fundraiser for the charity.

Pieta House, which has ten centres in Ireland, opened its first overseas centre in Queens, New York last summer, beginning its reach out to members of the Irish diaspora who may be in need of support.

If you require urgent help from Pieta House, their Ballyfermot office can be contacted on 01-6235606 between 9am to 9pm on weekdays.

Alternatively, if you have been affected by the issues raised in this article please visit www.samartians.org.

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