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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Home and abroad, 80,000 turn out to walk from 'Darkness into Light' [pics]

There was a larger than expected turnout for the annual event, to raise funds for suicide charity Pieta House. Events were also held in London and Sydney this year.

Updated 19.55

Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

SOME 80,000 PEOPLE turned out early this morning for the annual ‘Darkness into Light’ fundraising walk and run for suicide and self-harm charity Pieta House.

There was a larger than expected turn-out for the dawn event, with some 13,000 attending the main Dublin location, at the Phoenix Park.

The charity says there were twice as many participants as last year at a number of the venues nationwide.

For the first time, the Irish overseas also took part — with thousands attending events in London and Sydney.

“I can’t believe the huge numbers,” Pieta House founder Joan Freeman said.

It’s a testament to how far we’ve come as a society – suicide is no longer something we fearfully brush under the carpet.

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Mind our Men’: statistics show men are four times more likely than women to take their own lives.

An estimated 80,000 peopl Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Kathryn Doyle, Carole Connoly, Sharon Jordan and Susan Plunket at the Phoenix Park this morning.

The event has grown in recent years: in 2009, only around 200 people turned out for the Phoenix Park walk.

The charity has opened three new suicide and self-harm crisis centres — in counties Cork, Galway and Kerry — since last year’s event.

Pieta House was set up in Lucan, Co Dublin, in 2006, and receives 15 per cent of its funding from the State. It provides professional one-on-one therapy for those experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harm,

Almost 4,000 people sought help from the charity last year.

Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland


Walkers in Malahide, Co Dublin [Anthony Cole]

Read: Father-of-two works 20 hours a week for extra €2.38 on job scheme

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