Darkness Into Light in aid of Pieta House, the largest charity event in the world held on one date, takes place again in Cork city and county in the early hours of May 6 with the event continuing to grow in popularity.
The fun walk/run, the key fundraiser in aid of the suicide and self-harm support service, takes place in two city venues, UCC and Ballyvolane, from 4am on the Saturday as well as in Carrigaline, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Cobh, Dunmanway, Inchigeela, Mallow, Midleton, Mitchelstown, Skibbereen.
Two new venues, Ballincollig and Blarney, are added this year which are among 150 nationwide and there are also venues in the US, Australia, the UK and Europe. Last year some 130,000 people participated in the 5km walk/run and organisers are expecting this to increase in 2017.
Lord Mayor Cllr Des Cahill will launch the event at the UCC campus which is the second largest Irish event after the Phoenix Park.
UCC co-ordinator Mick Finn – who along with city councillors PJ Hourican and Henry Cremin help run the city events – encouraged people to register and to pick up their t-shirts in advance.
“There is a small but extremely hard-working committee running two events in the city on a completely voluntary basis and great credit is due to them because of the pressures posed by the event's increased popularity,” he said.
“They are fielding thousands of queries online and we are asking participants who register online – which is the now the only way to register – to collect their t-shirts at the various locations outlined on the facebook page,” he said.
City t-shirt distribution points will be in operation in the run-up to the event at AIB Bank Winthrop Street, Murphy’s Rock Bar, SuperValu Glanmire, Mahon Point Shopping Centre and the Student Centre UCC. Information on all other Cork venues is available online or from local committees (dil.pieta.ie).