Cork lit up over the weekend and people came out in their droves to their back gardens and local areas, all while adhering to social distancing, to watch the sun rise in aid of Pieta House.
This year’s Darkness Into Light walking events were cancelled due to the current Covid-19 crisis but that did not stop locals supporting the charity.
The Sunrise Appeal was launched in place of the scheduled annual fundraising walks on May 9th, when the streets of Cork would usually be filled with thousands of people raising funds for the charity.
Instead, people watched the sunrise from their homes and emergency services vehicles shone their lights in support of the initiative.
49 vehicles from An Garda Síochána, the fire brigade, HSE, Coast Guard, RNLI, Navy, Military Police, Civil Defence, Order of Malta and Red Cross drove through Kinsale flashing their lights in support of this year's Darkness into Light event in Cork town.
More than 80% of the charity’s funds come from the public who raised over €5 million nationally from the Darkness Into Light events last year.
Secretary of the Darkness Into Light for UCC and Ballyvolane, Siobhán Soden told The Echo: “The Sunrise Appeal was fantastic for each and every person as nobody could do the normal Darkness Into Light as it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 but I must say the Irish people all pulled together and what amazing support and kind messages all the committees all over the country got from the public.”
Cork City South-Central Councillor Mick Finn is on the organising committee of the University College Cork (UCC) and Ballyvolane Darkness Into Light events which attracted thousands of people last year.
This year, the funds raised will go toward keeping services running for those who are in need during the current Covid-19 crisis.
“Pieta House has to keep running all the time, and probably more so now than ever,” Cllr Finn previously told The Echo.
“Any funding raised is essentially keeping the free service going for people that are using it,” he said.
Darkness Into Light is a major event on Cork’s summer calendar and raised over €1.5 million for Pieta House last year.