Stepping out of the dark
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Darkness into Light walks across the country and it is the 7th anniversary of Kerry's first Darkness into Light walk in Killarney - the only one in the country that is named in honour of someone.
Nathan's Walk is in memory of 14-year old Nathan O'Carroll from Killarney who died by suicide in 2007. 11 years on for his parents, Denis and Marie O'Carroll, Nathan's walk and Darkness into Light Walks around the country have played a significant part in changing attitudes to suicide.
"People are more inclined to come out with with their problems now than they were. Before there was a stigma but people's attitudes have changed in general and the Darkness into Light walks are the most highlighted part of this," says Denis.
"The whole family always takes part in it and we close our Guest house that weekend to concentrate on it that is what it means to us."
Denis and Marie along with representatives from Pieta House and a host of locals gathered for the launch of the Nathan's Walk last Wednesday evening. This walk will be one of nine taking place in Kerry - among them the first ever Darkness into Light walk in Rossbeigh beach.
This is the first official year of Darkness into Light in Glenbeigh though for the past two years they have hosted the 'Walk of Hope' along Rossbeigh beach to raise funds for Pieta now but now they are part of the official Kerry Darkness into Light fundraising walks.
This year the format for all walks has changed with all sign-ups taking place online at the official Darkness into Light website. Everyone is asked to sign up prior to the walks which will take place this Saturday morning, May 12 across Kerry at 4.15am.
"We need people to register as soon as possible so we can organise everything. The walk will start at Ocean Delights on Rossbeigh beach. We will be leaving at 4.15am on the dot," explained organiser, Gerard Burke.
The nine walks in Kerry are - Caherdaniel, Cahersiveen, Dingle, Glenbeigh (Rossbeigh beach), Kenmare, Killarney, Listowel and Tralee.
Registration is at www.darknessintolight.ie.