Record numbers sign up for Pieta House’s ‘Darkness into Light’ dawn fundraising event next weekend

Towns and cities across the country are buzzing with excitement as final preparations are put in place for the fifth annual Darkness into Light 5km dawn walk/run with Electric Ireland

With only days to go, record numbers have already signed up for Pieta House’s Darkness into Light event next weekend as the suicide charity gears up for what looks to be the biggest turnout ever for the event. Now in its fifth year, and taking place simultaneously in 20 locations nationwide on the morning of Saturday, 11th May, Darkness into Light is being supported for the first time this year by Electric Ireland.

This unique event begins in darkness at 4am on Saturday morning (11 May) as thousands of people gather at locations across Ireland and walk or run a 5km route as dawn is breaking. Pieta House are asking people to bring glow sticks or torches to guide the way at the beginning of the walk.

Excitement is building in communities across the country as this year’s turnout looks set to easily top last year’s record number of 15,000 participants. Demand has been so high that there will even be two Dublin venues this year, the original Phoenix Park venue and a new route through Newbridge House Demense in Donabate.

“The buzz this year is incredible,” said Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of Pieta House. “I’ve just finished up a whistle stop tour of the country where I helped launch Darkness into Light in each of the 20 locations. It was great to meet all of our organising committees and get a sense of the excitement that’s building in each town. We brought our supporters Electric Ireland on the tour with us and they were delighted with the response we got. They even have a huge number of staff coming down to the walk in the Phoenix Park,” she said.

This year’s Darkness into Light has attracted a whole new wave of support from well-known personalities around the country. Rugby hero Brian O’Driscoll is backing the event and rockers Aslan pledged their support on The Saturday Night show in recent weeks; proceeds of their latest single Catch Your Fall with Don Mescall are going to Pieta House. Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea and the stars of RTE’s Love/Hate are also fully on board. Even the residents of Fair City’s Carrigstown are getting ready as a Darkness into Light billboard is currently taking pride of place on their set.

“At Electric Ireland, we understand the importance of bringing light into Ireland’s homes and communities, which is why we’re proud to support Pieta House’s Darkness into Light event,” said Brid Horan, Executive Director of Electric Ireland. “Sadly suicide remains a serious issue in Ireland today and we’re pleased to play a small part in raising awareness by supporting this worthwhile nationwide initiative. Darkness into Light is deeply embedded in towns across Ireland and it’s become an annual gathering where communities come together to show solidarity with others, support one another and, of course, to enjoy the fresh morning air,” she said.

Pieta House recently opened a new crisis centre in Roscrea and will open three more centres this year in counties Cork, Galway, and Kerry. Registration for Darkness into Light is available online now at Entry costs €25 with reduced rates for groups, families, students, OAPs and jobseekers.

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