As the crowd of approximately 500 people gathered in the dark of night outside the Abbey Hall, Roscrea, 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 8th 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, the local community has raised almost €120,000, which allows the organisation to keep its doors open and staffed with professional therapists and supports in the town. This year Roscrea added approximately €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 mention of Mairead Ramsbottom, who has been instrumental in bringing this facility to the 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 Gardai 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 the local sponsors, that very kindly donated excellent refreshments for the participants – namely: Super Valu, Derrykearne Wholesale Foods, Stapleton’s Bread, Lidl and Tesco. Your generosity is hugely appreciated.