THOUSANDS of people are expected to walk through the city streets at dawn - as part of Pieta House’s annual Darkness into Light fundraiser.
Now in its fifth year, the event aims to raise money for the crucial work of suicide awareness charity, which has a base in Mungret.
The event gets under way at 4am on Saturday, May 11, at Thomond Park, and will travel for five kilometres across town.
A national event, more than 15,000 people took part at 20 locations last year.
Here in Limerick, more than 2,000 people took part.
And it is hoped this year more than 4,000 people will gather in Limerick, with the stars of hit RTE drama Love/Hate lending their support.
The most vital event on Pieta House’s fundraising calendar, the Darkness into Light walk is a unique experience for those taking part.
Up to last year, the walk started and finished at Arthur’s Quay. But due to anticipated growth, and the fact Thomond Park is an iconic city location, permission has been given to start the walk there, said Pieta House fundraiser Kieran O’Brien.
It will take in the Shelbourne Road, the North Circular Road, the Ennis Road, Grove Island, and the Cratloe Road before heading back to the home of Munster rugby.
Symbolically, the walk represents a walk from the darkness and despair of depression, into the light of day.
Joan Freeman, CEO of Pieta House, said: “Darkness into Light represents hope and solidarity, and is symbolic of the work that we do; we bring people from darkness back into the light. We at Pieta House want to make 2013 the year that we halt the rise of suicide in Ireland and we’re doing all that we can to make this happen.”
Brid Horan, executive director of1 sponsors Electric Ireland, said: “We understand the importance of bringing light into Ireland’s homes and communities, which is why we’re proud to support Pieta House’s Darkness into Light event. Sadly suicide remains a serious issue in Ireland today and we’re pleased to play a small part in raising awareness by supporting this worthwhile nationwide initiative.”
She welcomed the fact the Darkness into Light walk has become “deeply embedded in towns across Ireland, and it’s become an annual gathering where communities come together to show solidarity with others, support one another and, of course, to enjoy the fresh morning air.”
Pieta House is launching a major new national campaign aimed at reducing the rate of male suicide last month.
Pieta House provides a professional, face-to-face, free of charge therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. The model is used across its five centres nationally.
If you are interested in registering for the Darkness into Light walk, visit the web site at www.pieta.ie, or contact 061-484444.