Limerick Darkness into Light walk goes through Glenstal Abbey

Murroe follows in Kilmallock's footsteps to organise county event

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

A Limerick Darkness into Light walk goes through Glenstal Abbey

The Darkness into Light walk will pass through Glenstal Abbey

ONE OF the most spiritual and moving Darkness into Light walks in the country will take place in Murroe on Saturday morning.

Half of the event in aid of Pieta House will takes place on the grounds of Glenstal Abbey. The sun is set to rise as they stroll through the Benedictine monastery.

Participants will also start their journey from the village hall in Murroe to the sound of the Glenstal Abbey school choir and choirmaster, Fr Columba, has written special music for the occasion.

This is the first Darkness into Light walk in Murroe. One of the organisers, Ita Richardson said it gives people in east Limerick the opportunity to attend a local event instead of travelling into the city. Just like Kilmallock does for residents in south Limerick. They are marking their third Darkness into Light and it starts outside Colaiste Iosaef at 4.15am. Organisers in Kilmallock are inviting as many as possible to “wake up and walk with us”.

In Murroe, they will begin their journey at the same time from the Muintir na Tire hall.

“It will go up by the monument, down to Dan Dineen’s cross and turn left in the back gate of Glenstal so half of the walk is in Glenstal Abbey. If we didn’t have the support of the community in Glenstal we would be looking at using 5kms of country roads,” said Ita, who encourages homeowners along the route to leave their lights on or put out lights if possible. She even knows locals who have bought strings of lights. It is part symbolism and part illuminating the way.

She credits Tony Breen, chairman of their committee, as the man with the idea. Ita said it was a natural follow on from a walk they have organised for seven years.

“We all know about suicide, how serious it is and the great work Pieta House is doing. We have been affected in Murroe like every other community in the country,” said Ita, who has been approached by some who have been affected by suicide.

“This means something very personal to these people – that we as a community are organising this, people are making a big effort and coming out and walking,” said Ita, who is joined on the committee by Tony, Anne O’Connor and Geraldine O’Riordan.

However, she stresses it is far from a four person effort as they have the backing from the whole parish as well as Glenstal and Murroe Community Council. Over 30 businesses and clubs have pledged support and over 50 have volunteered to help out.

One of those walking is local man Sean Hogg. He sums up the feelings of many who are set to rise well before the crack of dawn.

“I decided to participate as I felt the need to support such a worthy cause. I’m sure that most of us, including myself, at some stage, have been in a place in our lives, whether it was a family bereavement, relationship break-down, health problem or similar event, where we descended into a dark place and, luckily, with the help of friends, family, and the right treatment, came to a point in their lives where all was again well. Some people have not been so lucky. Pieta House can offer a life-line to people in need of such support.

“I have known several people who have taken their own lives. Also, as a former teacher, I have attended quite a few funerals of past pupils who felt that they could not continue with their lives.

The main thing that struck me on those occasions was the utter devastation felt by the remaining family members and the ongoing pain they felt after such a shattering event.

“I am delighted with the present open and frank discussions that take place concerning suicide and the removal of the stigma attached to mental health problems,” said Sean, who can be sponsored at dil-murroe.everydayhero.com/ie/sean

Walkers are expected to gather from 3.30am or earlier - the choir will start in Murroe at around 3.45am. In Murroe, people must pre-register online at dil.pieta.ie as they are not taking cash on the morning.

While in Kilmallock, the last day of registration takes place in Super Valu this Thursday, May 4 between 6pm and 8pm or register online at www.pieta.ie or on the morning of the event at 3am sharp.

Contact any of the following services

Aware (1800 80 48 48)

The Samaritans (116 123)

Pieta House (1800 247 247)