Darkness into Light takes place this Saturday morning
WELL over 10,000 people are expected to walk at dawn to raise awareness over the scourge of suicide in Limerick.
The annual Darkness into Light will return to the city for the ninth year in a row this weekend, where it will kick off from Thomond Park at 4.15am.
Separate walks will take place in Newcastle West and Kilmallock, both starting at the same time, and for the first time, the village of Murroe will also take part.
Thomond Park will be a sea of yellow in the middle of the night as suicide prevention charity Pieta House’s flagship annual fundraiser takes place.
The five-kilometre walk sets off from Thomond Park and goes on a circular route around the city’s northside.
The idea behind the walk is to walk from the darkness of depression through to the light of feeling well.
The Darkness into Light walk will also take place in Ballina-Kilaloe and Shannon town.
Entry to the event costs €25, but pensioners, students and part-time workers pay €15.
For those who cannot afford the full cost of entry, donations will be accepted.
Participants can also register and collect their distinctive yellow t-shirts in advance of the walk at the old Wacky Shoes store in O’Connell Street.
This will be open Thursday and Friday from 10am to 4pm.
Last year’s Darkness into Light walk in the city drew 10,000 people – on a par with Dublin’s attendance.
In the west, up to 2,000 are expected to take part in this Saturday’s walk, the fourth year it has been held in the town.
But registration will remain open up to the last minute, with a cut-off point at 3.30am this Saturday morning, when local tenor Brian Hartnett will lift hearts with some inspirational songs.
Shortly afterwards, at 4.15am, the walkers or runners will take off from the Desmond Complex on the 5km route through the Demesne and back through the town. Stewards will help guide the torchlit procession and householders along the route are asked to put a battery-operated candle in their window to show solidarity.
“We would hope to do as well on numbers as last year,” Vicki Nash, spokeswoman for the local Darkness into Light committee said. “It is amazing how many people are willing to get up in the middle of the night to do this.”
Registration continues online or this Friday from 4pm to 9pm in the Red Door Gallery in the Square.
Volunteers should be at the Desmond Complex venue in Newcastle West by 3am.
For more information, and to register for the event, telephone 061-484444, or visit dil.pieta.ie.
This year, Darkness Into Light will take place in more than 150 locations worldwide – from Athlone to Ottawa, from Brisbane to Hong Kong and from Quebec to Reykjavik.