Over 450 locals set off from The Emerald Ballroom, at 4.15am on the sixth Darkness Into Light Walk . They joined the 18 other venues in the county and the thousands of walkers at home and abroad in annual flagship fundraiser for Pieta House.
It was the first time since 2019 that in-person walks took place from organised centres. Individuals, couples, and families all joined together creating a wave of yellow as they all wore their iconic yellow t-shirt with pride.
They moved silently and respectfully through the street, up Brackernagh and Mackney before entering the darkened Ard Scoil Mhuire avenue reflective section. They paused at the lantern and candlelit display before continuing through Garbally. Here the area was bedecked with lanterns, with Paul Drysdale and Frank Kennedy providing background music as the walkers filed past, before turning into the Garbally Avenue lined with the iconic yellow tealights as far as the Garbally exit before returning via Brackernagh, some tired, others invigorated, and some a little overwhelmed.
The walk is meant to be symbolic of the journey a person makes from the darkness of despair into the light of hope and wellness. It also serves to raise awareness and vital funds for the free life-saving services that Pieta House provide in its centres nationwide.
Brian Derrane, Chairman of the Oranizing Group, reported that Pieta received around 100,000 calls and texts last year, up 40% from previous. The charity’s telephone and video therapy services had also seen an increase in demand, up 20% on this time last year. “ A huge thanks is owed to the committee members, local voluntary groups and individuals who assisted with the stewarding and other aspects of the event ensuring the walk was a safe experience for participants, as well as the local businesses who contributed ensuring the event was cost neutral with approximate €6,500 locally raised going directly to Pieta House” , he continued.
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