ROSCREA is gearing up for next weekend’s ‘Darkness Into Light’ dawn walk, with record numbers having signed up for this year’s 5km walk/run aimed at tackling the scourge of suicide.
With only days to go, this looks likely to be one of the biggest turnouts yet in the five-year history of the event, sponsored by Electric Ireland.
Roscrea has been selected as one of the 20 locations nationwide to host the walk on May 11th.
This unique event begins in darkness at 4am on Saturday morning as thousands of people are expected to gather together just as the dawn is breaking. Pieta House are asking people to bring glow sticks or torches to guide the way at the beginning of the walk.
“The buzz this year is incredible,” said Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of Pieta House.
“I’ve just finished up a whistlestop tour of the country, where I helped launch Darkness into Light in each of the 20 locations. It was great to meet all of our organising committees and get a sense of the excitement that’s building in each town.
“We brought our supporters Electric Ireland on the tour with us, and they were delighted with the response we got. They even have a huge number of staff coming down to the walk in the Phoenix Park,” she said.
Pieta House recently opened a new crisis centre in Roscrea, and will open three more centres this year in counties Cork, Galway, and Kerry.
Registration for Darkness into Light is available online now at dil.pieta.ie. Entry costs €25 with reduced rates for groups, families, students, OAPs and jobseekers.
This year’s Darkness into Light has attracted a whole new wave of support from well-known personalities around the country.
Rugby hero Brian O’Driscoll is backing the event, and rockers Aslan pledged their support on The Saturday Night show in recent weeks – proceeds of their latest single Catch Your Fall with Don Mescall are going to Pieta House.
Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea and the stars of RTE’s Love/Hate are also fully on board. Even the residents of Fair City’s Carrigstown are getting ready, as a Darkness into Light billboard is currently taking pride of place on their set.
“At Electric Ireland, we understand the importance of bringing light into Ireland’s homes and communities, which is why we’re proud to support Pieta House’s Darkness into Light event,” said Brid Horan, Executive Director of Electric Ireland.
Pieta House’s vision is that no-one should be more than 100km from a treatment centre if a crisis occurs.