24 April 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Pieta House’s fundraising Darkness into Light 5km walk/run will again take place in Monaghan and Cavan in the early hours of Saturday, May 9. The 2015 launch was held in the Monaghan Harps GAA clubhouse last Thursday, in front of a large attendance of organisers and supporters from both counties.

Monaghan Harps GAA Club Chairman Seán McKenna welcomed everyone and introduced Pieta House representatives Joan Freeman, Marie Peelo and Kieran Brady. Ms. Freeman, founder of the suicide and self-harm awareness charity, spoke about how they have opened nine support centres around the country since 2006 – three in the last year – and she thanked everyone involved in Darkness into Light, which is Pieta House’s main fundraiser and is growing all the time, with 80,000 having taken part in 2014. Majella Smith and Claire Clonlisk outlined how the Cavan event has grown beyond recognition since they first ran it in 2012, while their ambassador Fiona Corby gave an emotional talk on the effect her brother’s suicide had on their family and the significance of ‘Darkness into Light’, which is now in its seventh year. The 5k starts at 4.15am and sees the participants start in the dark and finish after the sun rises, symbolising the work done by Pieta House, leading people from despair to hope.

Monaghan senior football manager Malachy O’Rourke addressed the attendance and pledged his support and that of his team, including players Fintan Kelly and Darren Hughes, who were also in attendance. He spoke of the importance of people being there for each other, in sport and in life.

Cavan GAA were represented by their Public Relations Officer Mark O’Rourke, while successful Monaghan runner Conor Duffy also attended, as did members of local groups and the event’s national sponsors, Electric Ireland.

Speaking to Northern Sound on the night, Geraldine McAree, mother of the late Kieran McAree, urged anyone going through a difficult time to speak about it and seek help.

Monaghan hosted Darkness into Light for the first time last year, with over 700 taking part, and over 1,000 are expected this time around, following the same route, which starts and finishes at the Harps complex. Anyone wishing to take part can register online at dil.pieta.ie, while the pre-registration days for Monaghan are in the Town Shopping Centre on May 1 and 2 and at the Harps clubhouse on May 5 and 6.

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