Darkness into Light goes local

Above: A previous Darkness into Light event at Phoenix Park. Images courtesy of Pieta House.

Local preparations are being made for the first ever Pieta House Darkness into Light walk in Ringsend. The walk is to raise funds for the suicide and self-harm prevention centre.

The 5km walk will take place at 4.15am on Saturday 6th May from Clanna Gael GAA club on Sean Moore Road, taking participants on a loop before finishing back at the same venue. A time of one hour and fifteen minutes has been allotted for the walk.

NewsFour spoke to Jennifer Betts, a member of the Darkness into Light committee about why the popular walk that takes place in Phoenix park and Marlay Park has come to Ringsend: “I’ve been in contact with Pieta through fundraising for a few years now. They asked me to be on a committee for Darkness into Light and I thought what better committee to be on than a local one? We saw a real need for it in the community and some people suggested it on social media. It’s a subject close to my heart, a lot of families in the area have been affected by suicide, including mine, it’s definitely touched the community.

“While it’s great raising money, it’s the awareness that is important, it lets people know they have somewhere to go. I’ve done the walk in Phoenix Park and so has Chris Andrews, a fellow member of the committee. It’s very sad in the sense that there are a lot of people walking with photographs of their fathers, their sisters and their mothers but it is also very uplifting, you feel like you’re doing something good, like you’re contributing to finding a solution to the problem.”

Sueann Moore, Secretary of Communications for the committee, explains what has been organised so far for the walk: “A Tree of Hope was planted on Saturday March 25th in Ringsend near the East link Bridge. The tree will be there to allow the community to remember those who have been lost to suicide or are suffering with depression.

The most up to date route for Ringsend Darkness Into Light event.

Electric Ireland are sponsoring tea lights, so people can bring them along the route and place them at the Tree of Hope if they wish. Thanks to Anthony James O’Reardon for organising this with Noeleen Fulham. We’re hoping that some of the local schools will get involved to provide art installations along the route, similar to what they did at the Marlay Park walk, with themes such as positivity and endurance. Some choirs have been contacted, the Sandymount Choir are already involved. There is also a banner of hope that people can put their signatures on or write the name of a loved one who has been affected by suicide or mental health.”

Registration is now open on the Pieta House website for anyone who wants to take part. The fee is €20 with discounts for students, seniors and unemployed and it includes the official yellow Pieta House t-shirt that walkers are required to wear. You can also register on the night, for any latecomers.

Volunteers, refreshment vendors and corporate sponsors needed.

There is a need for approximately 100 volunteers such as water marshalls, stewards, first aid personnel and litter wardens. The Order of Malta will be the official first-aid suppliers and both rowing clubs from Ringsend have offered to marshall the water at Grand Canal Dock. If you would like to volunteer or if you are a local business and want to provide sponsorship or refreshments at Clanna Gael please email: Jenniferbetts01@gmail.com or chrisandrews64@gmail.com for further details.

By Jessica Ellis