Darkness Into Light Newcastle West – An Inspirational Success

Ciara Mulcahy, Veronica Loughran, Caroline Beasley, Cora Noonan, Jamie Herlihy (Desmond School of Music), Fiona Collins, Denise Kennedy, Marie Ruddle and Catherine McAuliffe, members of the Desmond School of Music and Theatre choir who entertained the people on their return to the Desmond Complex.
George Daly and Pauline O’Connor Darkness Into Light Ncw

Walkers and runners of all ages turned out in huge numbers last Saturday morning to take part in Darkness into Light for Pieta House. The grounds of Desmond Complex were chock-a-block with in excess of 2000 people united in the common cause of supporting those affected by suicide and self-harm.
The participants were welcomed by Vicki Nash of the organising committee and Canon Frank Duhig spoke in inspiring terms before saying a prayer for those lost to suicide. He also blessed the crowd at the start time of 4.15am.
As has become the tradition, tenor Brian Hartnett’s rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ echoed through the crowd as they set off along the 5 km route. Once again the Demesne was candlelit, creating a magical atmosphere. Through it all, the interaction between people – whether family, friends or previously strangers – generated a compassionate and supportive community spirit. And the weather co-operated perfectly.
On arrival at the finish, Desmond School of Music and Theatre Choir was in great voice with lively and inspirational songs for more than an hour. They ended in the same style as the event began with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’
Plenty of volunteers were on hand to provide a cuppa and breakfast snacks. Such were the numbers that there was a lengthy queue at times. Still it was all good-humoured even when the sausage snacks ran out as there were plenty of sweet treats to fill the gap.
And while all of this was in action, there was a prayerful and moving atmosphere in the parish church, arranged by the Bereavement Group. Large numbers of those unable to walk took part in Adoration and they were joined by many walkers who stopped along their way.
Darkness into Light can only happen thanks to countless volunteers who act as stewards, admini-strative workers, food servers, etc. Sponsors – too numerous to mention – of food, water and services are vital and much appreciated. Garda support is indispensable to ensure safety. The staff of Desmond Complex were incredibly helpful and supportive through-out the process of arrang-ing and running the event.
The organising commit-tee: Cathy McMahon Healy, Breda and Billy O’Connell (Abbeyfeale), Carmel O’Mahony, Bernie Sheehan and Vicki Nash would like to thank each and everyone who contributed in any way to the event, most especially the countless participants who make it what it is.
At the time of writing, the sum raised is €28,325.50 with some last minute donations still coming in. These funds will be dedicated for use in the free-of-charge services offered by Pieta House Mid-West.
Mile buíochas le gach duine.