Children release balloons at the end of the Mile in Memory Walk Picture: Brendan Gleeson
OVER 150 men, women and children gathered together as one to remember lost loved ones in Kilmallock on Saturday evening.
The third annual Mile in Memory Walk took place in the town’s Famine Memorial Park. It was in aid of First Light, a charity which offers support and information to suddenly bereaved parents and families.
Organiser of the walk, Marcella O’Malley, said the purpose of the event is to help people that have lost children.
“It was emotional, it was sad and happy at the same time. The purpose is to keep their memories alive,” said Marcella, who lost her beloved granddaughter Katie Mulcahy in 2009. The Kilmallock lady said they walked a mile in the park and then at the end everyone was given a balloon with flower seeds attached.
“Then all the balloons were released together - it was lovely. We then had some food, a cup of tea and people tend to hang around and have a chat. Many would have shared experiences sadly.
“We’ve made good friends from it over the last couple of years. It helps us a lot as well as everybody else,” she said.
While the event takes place in Kilmallock it has attracted more and more participants from outside the parish as word spreads.
“They are coming from all over the county. The word is getting out. Everybody that comes has a story and unfortunately there are quite a few families in Kilmallock alone that have lost children in the last three years. It brings us all together once a year,” said Marcella.
From the entry fees and donations on Saturday they have raised €1,351. There is still some money to come in so they are on track to match or beat the €1,450 that was collected last year.
Everybody who took part received a T-shrt and the Mile in Memory Walk is now a fixture on the local calendar.
Every cent of the funds goes to First Light that offers support to parents and families bereaved by the sudden unexpected and often unexplained death of a child or young person and to others affected by it. First Light has professional and qualified staff to empower parents, families, professionals and communities after the sudden death of a child or young person.
See page six of Leader 2 for more photographs