DARK­NESS INTO LIGHT

1,600 early risers at event in Cour­town

Gorey Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By SARA GA­HAN

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.

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