Thousands across the country take part in Darkness into Light 2022

Group walks and events, which have not taken place since 2019, began in the early hours of this morning.
Thousands across the country take part in Darkness into Light 2022

Thousands of people across the country got up early on Saturday morning to take part in the annual Pieta House fundraiser Darkness into Light.

Group walks and events, which have not taken place since 2019, began in the early hours of this morning.

Darkness into Light began in 2009, and has since spread into a major awareness campaign for suicide prevention, with participation from communities across the country, as well as internationally.

Speaking to Newstalk, Stephanie Manahan, the newly appointed CEO of Pieta House, thanked everyone who took part.

"Whether you walked, whether you ran, whether you swam, whether you had a private contemplated moment to walk together in community with people who have been impacted by suicide and self harm, we thank you, we appreciate you.

"[Go] home, get a cup of tea, and thank you again."

Pieta House founder Joan Freeman noted the importance of the event for services.

"If it wasn't for the volunteers of this country, first of all there would be no Darkness into Light," Ms Freeman said.

"But our country would be on its knees [only for] the charities and the volunteers who provide services that the Government cannot provide."

Sports clubs and schools across the country organised walks, as did other community groups.

In Youghal, Co Cork, Adam King lead the walk along with other local heroes.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist Charlie Bird led the Darkness into Light walk in Bray, Co Wicklow.

According to the Pieta House website, 116,619 people signed up to the event raising €3,654,190 so far.

 If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. 

You can also freephone the national Bereavement Support Line run by the HSE and Irish Hospice Foundation at 1800 80 70 77 (Monday-Friday 10am-1pm), and the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support/. 

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