Committee members; Don Sheehan, Catriona Bulman , Angela Horgan (Pieta House) , Aine Martin and Tommy Roche.

The official launch of Youghal’s inaugural Darkness into Light 2018 Campaign in aid of Pieta House took place last Saturday 24 March at the GAA club. Councillor Mary Linehan Foley gave an opening address commended the committee on all the hard work they have undertaken and thanking them for helping Youghal to become involved in this amazing campaign. The crowd in attendance heard the beginning of the plans laid out by the committee and were shown a 15 minute video of previous Darkness into Light events. Áine Martin, Catriona Bulman and Pieta House representative Angela Horgan gave some harrowing statistics in relation to the need for this, now global campaign, which this year is taking place in no less than 12 countries.
Pieta House speaks to and advises an average of 84 people a day. There is no referral or doctor’s letter required; just pick up the phone and you will be seen in less than 72 hours. The age of those seeking help due to suicidal thoughts, self-harming and coping with bereavement range from people in their mid-80s all the way down to just 5 years old. That particular note sat heavily on the minds of all present. Especially when followed with the fact that Pieta House receives just 10% of its funding from the government. 90% is purely through fundraising. The work they are doing through their free counselling service has had an impact on countless lives since they opened 12 years ago. There is still much to be done however, “For every suicide” said Áine, “it is estimated that 135 people are affected”. Pieta House can be contacted at any time day or night by calling 1800 247 247 or texting 51444.
This is the 10th Anniversary of the campaign in Ireland. It’s expected that in excess of 160,000 will take part this year. The walk will be on Saturday, May 12th at 4.15am. The starting line will be Aura carpark, where there will be music to get participates set for the off. The route shall be on the road along Claycastle by the Pitch and Putt course; where it’s planned to have 10 bonfires burning to represent the 10 people a week who are lost to suicide In Ireland. The walk will continue behind Clancy’s and down Lighthouse Hill and on to the Clock Gate which will be lit up yellow in the week preceeding the walk. From there, it will turn right through Barry’s Lane and on the back street to return up the Lighthouse Hill as the sun begins to rise. The crowd will then head for the beach prom and along boardwalk returning to Aura carpark. 5km in all. What a spectacular route and how lucky we are to have Youghal Beach, a setting unlike any other. Hot drinks and light refreshments will be on hand at the finish line.
The committee would like to thank everyone for their help so far, especially the Transition Year Students and teachers at Pobalscoil Na Tríonóide whose enthusiasm to become involved and offer ideas has been most appreciated. They will be looking for more help and volunteers as the date approaches. Local businesses are asked to offer donations of / towards food and beverages for those at the finish line. Please contact any committee member for details. Those houses and businesses along the route are also asked to decorate their windows and doors in a show of solidarity for participants. Special thanks also to Judy Ansbro at the Coffee Pot for the very generous catering provided at the launch.
Committee members would like to make it clear that ALL REGISTRATION MUST BE DONE ONLINE. The fee for an individual is €20. You can avail of an early bird discount of €5 if you register by April 4th. For more details on fees and registration please visit the website www.darknessintolight.ie. For anyone needing help, there will be a day organised in town where volunteers will help you register.
COME AND JOIN THE WALK FOR LOVE, FOR HOPE, FOR LIFE.

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