Mental health

2019 Darkness into Light 5k walk and run in Roscrea

500 people gather in the dark of night outside the Abbey Hall on Saturday morning to cheer the new dawn for mental health awareness

Eoin Kelleher


Eoin Kelleher


2019 Darkness into Light 5k walk and run in Roscrea

Participants of this year's Roscrea Darkness into Light walk. The community has raised €120,000 so far for mental health services, and €10,000 this year PICTURE: PJ WRIGHT

As the crowd of about 500 people gathered in the dark of night outside the Abbey Hall on Saturday morning, it was clear that once again this year’s Darkness into Light walk in aid of Pieta House was going to be something special

For the eighth year in a row, Roscrea has proven itself remarkable for coming together in community and compassion.

The 5km walk went seamlessly thanks to a very dedicated group of local volunteers, organisations and sponsors, all helping Pieta House to raise much needed funds to continue their work of combating suicide, self-harm and providing counselling and bereavement support to those affected by suicide.

Since Pieta House’s inception in Roscrea, our local community has raised almost €120,000, which allows the organisation to keep its doors open and staffed with professional therapists and supports in our town.

This year Roscrea added about €10,000 more to that figure.Setting out at 4.15am from the Abbey Hall, the walk followed a 5km looped route. With each participant wearing a brightly coloured event t-shirt and carrying a small candle, they walked from the dark of night into the light of the sunrise, sending a poignant and symbolic message to all, that no matter how dark our days can feel, that the sun will always rise again. The behind the scenes efforts of the Darkness into Light committee make this very special event possible year after year.

With special mentioning of Mairead Ramsbottom, who has been instrumental in bringing this facility to our town and ensuring this event gets off the ground annually.

Not forgetting her loyal volunteer support of Mary McLoughlin, Gerry Kearney and Tracey Keegan on the 2019 Roscrea committee.

An enormous amount of gratitude is more than deserved for the Roscrea Scouts, who played a pivotal role in all aspects of this much loved event.

Without the leadership and support of Ger O’Meara, deputy county commissioner of the Slieve Bloom Scout County and the team of Scout leaders, none of this could have happened.

Every year the Order of Malta, the Red Cross, the Roscrea Bikers and the Roscrea gardaí selflessly give of themselves to provide their services, and for that Pieta House and the Darkness into Light committee are truly grateful. A very special thank you to all of our local sponsors, that very kindly donated excellent refreshments for the participants – namely: Super Valu, Derrykearne Wholesale Foods, Stapleton’s Bread, Lidl and Tesco. Their generosity is hugely appreciated.

If you require any more information on Pieta House’s services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 087 949 4855.