THOUSANDS of people will walk at dawn in Limerick next month in memory of those they have died through suicide.
GAA legend Micheál O’Muircheartaigh and RTÉ presenter Kathryn Thomas have launched Pieta House’s annual fundraiser - ‘Darkness into Light’ which will take place on Saturday, May 12, from Arthur’s Quay in the city.
Pieta House, the suicide and self-harm crisis centre is calling on people from all over the country to bring friends with them to walk, jog or run 5km to raise funds and increase awareness about suicide and self-harm.
Following a record turnout last year in Limerick, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Clare and Kerry, the event will now take place in 14 locations around the country this year.
At 4am on that date, thousands of people will gather in darkness for the solemn event as dawn breaks.
“Suicide is a growing problem in Ireland. Most of us have been affected by suicide in some way or another and ‘Darkness into Light’ is an ideal way for people to come together and show their support,” said Joan Freeman, chief executive and founder of Pieta House.
This year their aim is to have a record 15,000 people taking part.
Since opening their doors in 2006 over 6,000 people have sought help from Pieta House. There are now five centres in Dublin and Limerick, with aims to open centres in Galway, Cork, Waterford and Roscrea.
“The walk symbolises Pieta House’s aim to support and help people who are suicidal or self-harming. It’s a truly amazing experience to gather with thousands of other people before the dawn breaks and walk towards the sunrise,” said Ms Freeman.
Pieta House provides a professional, face to face, free of charge therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. Its primary aim is to reduce suicide by helping people get through that critical phase when suicide becomes a plan rather than just an idea. To register for Darkness into Light 2012, or to seek help, visit www.pieta.ie.