'Darkness Into Light' airs on Wednesday (May 23) at 9pm and captures people as they walk from the darkness of the night into the light of the morning, raising awareness around suicide and mental health.
Darkness Into Light events in Carrick-on-Suir, Dublin’s Phoenix Park and Bray in County Wicklow will all feature on Wednesday's TV3 documentary.
Darkness Into Light, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of Pieta House’s budget, has blossomed from humble beginnings into a global movement against suicide and self-harm. Darkness Into Light kick-started when Joan Freeman led approximately 400 people through Dublin's Phoenix Park in 2009, and it now takes place in around 180 locations worldwide, including in Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Tipperary Town, Thurles, Nenagh and Roscrea.
Thousands of people walked from Darkness Into Light in County Tipperary this year, determined to 'win the wars against suicide and self-harm'. Community groups, schools, businesses, volunteers and members of the public rallied together for Pieta House’s 10th annual flagship fundraiser.
Over 1,200 people raised more than €27,000 at Carrick on-Suir Darkness Into Light on May 12 last, bringing the total generated since its inauguration in the town in 2016 to over €76,000. "The support this year has been fantastic. Many thanks to the committee members for their hard work, the 60 plus volunteers, the local men's shed, the schools who donated artwork, the Greenschool and the businesses and members of the public that donated food and teapots," Carrick-on-Suir Darkness Into Light treasurer Mary Power told The Nationalist.
Carrick-on-Suir Darkness Into Light catering coordinator Jillian Wheaton emphasised the importance of Darkness Into Light. "It is a beautiful juxtaposition of grieve, hope and community spirit all in one night. There is real interaction between people, and it allows the community to support people who have been bereaved," Jillian said.
Carrick-on-Suir Darkness Into Light volunteer coordinator and CBS High School teacher Hollie Hickey praised her 5th year students for making signs for the 5km route and for supporting the event on the night. "Getting involved in Darkness Into Light requires a lot of commitment. It is a great experience and very rewarding," Hollie highlighted.
Carrick-on-Suir Darkness Into Light chairperson Karen McGrath added: “There’s something about this walk that makes it worth getting up for. It makes it worth all the behind the scenes work. It makes it worth being from this town because there’s no town like this to get behind something and give it everything.
“After what has been a particularly difficult year for our town, this provides an opportunity for us to get together as a community and support each other.
“Whatever you're going through in life please remember that it will pass. Remember that the darkest part of the night is just before the dawn.”
Over 1,800 walked in a sea of yellow in Cashel for the fifth annual Darkness Into Light event in the town on May 12. Paralympian Peter Ryan gave a moving and inspirational speech following an introduction and message of thanks by Cashel Darkness Into Light chairperson Bernie Ryan. The Cashel event included a reflective kilometre walked in silence from the top of Friar Street. “It was particularly poignant and received very positive and moving feedback,” said committee member Cher Quinlan.
Cher went on to thank the volunteers, entertainers, Cashel Rugby Club, Rock of Cashel staff, Tipperary County Council and all those who supported the event.
Over 1,000 people also turned out for Darkness Into Light in Tipperary Town, which was supported by local actress Rachel Pilkington.
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