Darkness into Light was launched last night at The Anner Hotel, Thurles.,
May 12th will see Tipperary people rise from their beds to join in solidarity with thousands of others at 4:15am.
Saturday morning May 12th will be another red letter day in the lives of thousands of Tipperary people who will walk/run in solidarity with Darkness into Light as part of the fundraiser for Pieta House.
The now annual event is a deeply moving one and has become one of the most significant such events in the country with 140 different locations hosting the walk and run in Ireland and a further 40 overseas. The aim this year is for 200,000 people to participate in the event and Tipperary, Nenagh, Cashel, Roscrea, Tipperary Town, Thurles and Ballina/Killalloe will reverberate to the sound of footsteps on the morning - each footstep representing a portion of the journey from darkness into light.
The launch, hosted by the Thurles committee, was attended by representatives from the other Tipperary groups as well as Kevin Ryan from Electric Ireland, who are the main sponsors, Martina Leamy from Pieta House in Roscrea, Brian Higgins and Johnny Toher, also from Pieta House, and Jonathan Gleeson of the Thurles organisation.
Jonathan, who is centrally involved with Thurles Rotary Club, one of the drivers of Darkness into Light in Thurles, explained that in the inaugural walk in the Cathedral Town, some 2,000 people participated and a whopping €35,000 was raised. He thanked all those who were involved last year and looked forward to people jumping on board again. The event will kick off from The Dome at Semple Stadium with the facilities having been placed at the disposal of the committee by David Morgan, who is delighted to be supporting the initiative.
Martina Leamy outlined the work of Pieta House, the supports offered to those feeling suicidal or in danger of self harming, as well as the services to the bereaved as a result of suicide. This was expanded upon by Brian Higgins who pointed out that 36,000 people have been aided by Pieta House, thanks to the funding raised through Darkness into Light. The aim is to replace thoughts of suicide with thoughts of hope, he said, and Darkness into Light helps replace the stigma of suicide and transforms it into acceptance. “It is very important to use Darkness into Light as a tool for this,” he said.
When people rise from their beds in the early hours of May 12th, they will do so in support of friends; perhaps in memory of others; but also for themselves.
They will take each step in the company of others; in solidarity; sometimes in silence; sometimes with laughter; but always with a sense of hope.
So mark the date in your diary. Saturday May 12th at 4:15am.