Loved ones to be remembered as thousands in Limerick walk Darkness into Light

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Thousands walking  in Limerick during a previous staging of the Darkness Into Light initiative

Thousands walking in Limerick during a previous staging of the Darkness Into Light initiative

A “KILOMETRE of reflection” will be one of the features of this year’s Darkness into Light walk, which is expected to draw thousands to Limerick this Saturday.

Around 10,000 people are expected to descend on Thomond Park in the small hours of this Saturday for suicide prevention charity Pieta House’s flagship annual fundraiser.

The ninth time the walk has taken place in Limerick, the organisers have called on people to register in advance online at dil.pieta.ie to be sure of a t-shirt and a place on the walk.

Kicking off at 4.15am, the walk will take on a six-kilometre circular route across the city.

A unique early morning experience, Darkness into Light begins in the dead of night as thousands walk or run a five-kilometre route while dawn is breaking.

Last year’s event attracted over 100,000 participants in more than 80 locations in Ireland and abroad.

For the first time this year, Johnny Togher, who works in the volunteer and fundraising department at the charity’s local base in Ard Aulin, Mungret, highlighted a new feature in this year’s walk through the city.

“From Salesians Roundabout up to the Strand Hotel, we are looking at creating a kilometre of reflection. We are looking at lining the route with candles, and perhaps an inflatable arch at the start. It will give people the chance to think of loved ones they have lost to suicide,” he said.

While Limerick City’s Darkness into Light walk will attract the most participants in the county, smaller walks for the same cause will take place in Kilmallock, Murroe and Newcastle West.

Killaloe/Ballina will also host a walk, as will Shannon Town and Sixmilebridge.

Around €160,000 was raised from Limerick’s walks in 2017, money which is pumped straight back into Pieta House’s crisis centre here, which provides counselling and support services to people experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts.

If you are in distress, Pieta House’s centre in Mungret can be contacted at 061-484444.