Newcastle West marches from darkness into light

Una McCormack and Sandra O'Connor.   ---   Darkness Into Light Newcastle West   -- Pauline O'Connor

Una McCormack and Sandra O’Connor. — Darkness Into Light Newcastle West — Pauline O’Connor

They came out in unpre-cedented numbers all over the country last Saturday morning, despite the earliness of the hour, to walk together and show their support for the Darkness into Light fundraiser in aid of Pieta House. Newcastle West experienced a big increase in numbers at the event, and the spirit exhibited by the crowd was heartening, while the presence of large numbers of young people demonstrated that the topic of suicide is well and truly coming out of the darkness.

The forecast was for rain, but conditions were perfect as participants gathered outside the Community Centre, with tenor Brian Hartnett setting a perfect tone with his beautiful voice. Coordinator Noreen Gallagher read words of encouragement from Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House, and when Fr. Frank Duhig asked for a minute’s silence, you could hear a pin drop as people bowed their heads for a moment of reflection and remem-bered those who had lost the fight against the darkness. The walkers and runners set off at precisely 4.15am, to the poignant rendering of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ and after a five kilometre circuit everyone arrived back at the Community Centre where dawn was breaking and the participants were serenaded by Monagea Choir.

Thanks to the Parish Bereavement Support Group, anyone who could not manage to walk or run the course was able to be part of the event in the presence of the Holy Eucharist at the church.