Ballyheigue lights up for special event
It wasn't just any old trip to Ballyheigue Beach for locals and visitors from around the county this past Monday as they took part in the annual Recovery Haven 'Celebration of Light'.
The event, which is now in its seventh year, saw members of the community coming together in the setting sun to light candles in celebration and memory of their friends and family.
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As is now tradition with these 'Celebration of Light' events, one of the most memorable and special parts of the evening came in the middle of the ceremony when people were asked to take the stone that they had been given with their candle - a stone that represented any burden they have in their lives - and they were asked to then throw or release this stone/burden into the ocean - a symbolic releasing of their burden.
"Support, love and encouragement for all concerned was one of the main messages of the evening and in choosing Ballyheigue for our location, we looked for a place which mirrored and symbolised the aspirations of light and hope within our own hearts and the heart of our community," said the organisers, speaking at the ceremony on Monday night.
"We are here as a community to demonstrate to each other how we can be there for each other in challenging times in the spirit of compassion, love, generosity and mutual support," they continued.
Recovery Haven Kerry delivers caring and therapeutic services to those who are experiencing cancer, their families and carers free of charge in a tranquil and safe environment in Tralee - with outreach services in Killarney and most recently Killorglin.
Last year, there were just over 2,000 attendances to the cancer support centres across the county - a record for the charity. In that time, Recovery Haven Kerry provided hundreds of free counselling sessions to men, women and children.