DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
1,600 early risers at event in Courtown
More than 1,600 early risers turned up in the pre-dawn hours in Courtown last weekend for the annual Darkness into Light for Pieta House.
It is estimated the 5km walk raised over €20,000 for the Pieta House charity, who offer free counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation, those who have been affected by suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm.
Irish celebrity chef Derry Clarke and his wife Sally-Ann, who are brand ambassadors for Pieta House, opened the morning with a very moving speech. The couple have been strongly affected as they lost their son five years ago.
‘We rise to challenge stigma, to banish self harm and to fight suicide,’ said Derry and Sally-Ann.
Darkness into Light Courtown brought waves of emotion for those who participated, but committee member Ger Shiel said everyone was amazing to actually get up at 4 a.m. to take part in the walk.
‘The hundreds that gathered is reflective of the support within the community,’ said Ger. ‘It shows that it is OK not to be OK, and that it is OK to ask or talk to someone.’
The walk began at Flanagan’s Wharf, then up the Main Street, turned left at Ocean Point Apartments, by Pirates Cove, turned left at Jimmy’z Bar Riverchapel, and then travelled along Red Row, turned right and went towards Courtown Adventure Leisure Centre, down the Burrow Road just in time for the sun rise, and turned back around for Flanagan’s Wharf.
Along the way, the word Hope was illuminated with candles and lights also formed a runway along the Burrow Road for the participants making their way to the beach to see the sun rise.
‘We got back so much positive feedback,’ said Ger. ‘We are all delighted to be able to fundraise and support Pieta House.’
The committee would like to give a huge thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and especially the participants for making it such a great event.