1,700 early ris­ers at Wex­ford event

Wexford People - - FRONT PAGE - By MARIA PEP­PER

MORE THAN 1700 peo­ple peo­ple set their alarms early and got up in the mid­dle of the night to take part in Wex­ford’s Dark­ness into Light walk, which left St. Joseph’s Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at 4.15 a.m. last Satur­day morn­ing.

Wrapped in mul­ti­ple lay­ers topped with yellow tee-shirts and and wooly hats against the pre-dawn cold, par­tic­i­pants walked 5 kilo­me­tres around the town in aid of the sui­cide and self-harm pre­ven­tion ser­vice Pi­eta House.

An es­ti­mated 200,000 peo­ple si­mul­ta­ne­ously peo­ple took part in the 10th an­niver­sary event at 150 lo­ca­tions around Ire­land with walks also held abroad.

‘I think the youngest was a three-week old baby in a buggy and the old­est that I spoke to was 70,’ said Wex­ford Dark­ness into Light chair­man Liam McCabe, who cut a rib­bon at the start and made two large wooden can­dle shapes il­lu­mi­nated by night­lights to add to the at­mos­phere of the oc­ca­sion as peo­ple ar­rived, while a gi­ant ‘Hope’ sign un­der­lit with can­dles was sup­plied by Pi­eta House.

Some of the walk­ers have been per­son­ally touched by sui­cide and found it very ther­a­peu­tic to be in­volved, said Liam who has wit­nessed the tragedy of sui­cide through his work as a vol­un­teer with Wex­ford MarineWatch.

Par­tic­i­pants were served tea, cof­fee, cakes and bis­cuits in St Joseph’s Cen­tre, where Lee Hynes of South East Ra­dio played mu­sic.

Last year, the Wex­ford event raised €46,000 through on­line registration and do­na­tions and should at least match that amount this year.

Liam thanked St Joseph’s Com­mu­nity Cen­tre staff, Wex­ford MarineWatch, the Or­der of Malta, the Coast Guard, An Garda Síochána, Scout­ing Ire­land and Sum­mer­hill Guides for their help.

The or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee: Liam McCable, Martin Crean, Emily McCann, Christo­pher McCabe, Betty McCabe, An­gela McKin­ley and He­len James.

Wex­ford Dark­ness Into Light chair­man Liam McCabe cuts the rib­bon to get the event un­der way.

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