before sunrise

Darkness Into Light: 120,000 people take part in annual suicide prevention event

All over the country (and overseas too) people got up ridiculously early to run for Pieta House.

ORGANISERS ESTIMATE THAT more than 120,000 people have taken part in the annual Darkness Into Light charity run this morning.

The event has grown and grown in popularity in recent years. In 2009, just 200 people turned out for the main run in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

Overseas participants began taking part in 2014, and this year there were events in locations as diverse as London, Reykjavik, Perth, San Francisco and Abu Dhabi.

The Darkness Into Light 5k run/walk, which raises funds for suicide and self-harm charity Pieta House, got under way at 4.15am.

Last year, around 100,000 people took part in events around the country as dawn was breaking.

“To feel the energy and the support of 120,000 people at our back is overwhelming. This is the Irish at their very best and it gives us the courage and confidence to continue doing the work of Pieta House,” founder Joan Freeman said at the event in the Phoenix Park.

The relationship between Pieta House and the community, although forged in tragedy, provides so much hope for individuals and families throughout the country.

Here are some photos from today’s event, which took place in almost 120 locations.

NO FEE0483 Darkness Into Light 2016 copy Pieta House founder Joan Freeman at the Phoenix Park event in Dublin. Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

NO FEE0296 Darkness Into Light 2016 copy Phoenix Park Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

d1 St Nathy's College Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon Mick McCormack Mick McCormack

IMG_4155 The Dooley Family from Limerick/Galway walking in Bray Pat Dooley Pat Dooley

IMG_1623 DIL Phoenix Park Máire Houlihan Máire Houlihan

FullSizeRender Darren and Amanda Doyle, Athlone Darren Doyle Darren Doyle

Snapchat-4142106086913654388 DIL Limerick Cliodhna de Paor Cliodhna de Paor

image1 DIL Cork Cian Crowdy Cian Crowdy

FB_IMG_1462605410191 Abu Dhabi

IMAG1240 Abu Dhabi Diarmuid Waters Diarmuid Waters

IMG_0121 Galway City Fire & Rescue Frankie Dolan Frankie Dolan

image DIL Athlone Michelle Doyle Michelle Doyle

Darkness Into Light - Marlay Park - Web Size -6124 Marlay Park DIL Eoin Ryan Eoin Ryan

IMG_0606 Mitchelstown DIL Aisling Lewis Aisling Lewis

IMG_7999 Phoenix Park DIL Erica Fleming Erica Fleming

DIL Perth 6 DIL Perth

DIL Perth DIL Perth Stillwater Communications Stillwater Communications

24021-image1462585216 DIL Sydney Marieke van Regteren Altena Marieke van Regteren Altena

image1 (2) DIL Ottawa Eoghan O'Kelly Eoghan O'Kelly

The marquee event at the Phoenix Park got under way at the Papal Cross at 4.15am. There were also Dublin events in Malahide, Marlay Park and Skerries.

In Cork, there were runs in the city (UCC), Clonakilty, Mallow, Ballyvolane, Castletownbere, Midleton, Carrigaline, Mitchelstown and Inchigeelagh. Limerick’s runs took place in the city, Newcastle West and Kilmallock.

Aside from Galway city, there are runs throughout the county in Tuam, Ballinasloe, Ballygar, Clifden, Kinvara, Inis Meáin, Inis Oírr, Inis Mór, Inishbofin and in An Chaethrú Rua.

For a full list of venues you can check out the Darkness Into Light website. 

Note: If you took part, please send your photos to 

- with reporting by Daragh Brophy

Suicide helplines: 

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email - (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: ‘Imagine being suicidal and waiting hours and hours for help’

Read: 100,000 people will get up ridiculously early to walk and run for a great cause tomorrow

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.