Preparations are well under way for this year’s ‘Darkness Into Light’ walk in Longford town, which will take place in the early hours of Saturday morning, May 9.
“We’re already well ahead with registrations compared to last year,” said Catherine Lane, a member of the local organising committee. “There has been a lot of interest from groups contacting us looking for entry forms. At the moment I can’t get into my garage because it’s full of Darkness Into Light t-shirts!”
Starting from the Mall Complex in Longford town at 4.15am, the walk will be timed to coincide with several others taking place elsewhere in the country and abroad, including Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and the USA.
“We have 754 people taking part last year and the atmosphere was great. We’re hoping it will be just as good this year,” Catherine continued. “Everyone I’ve spoken to is very enthusiastic about it.”
Anyone interested in taking part in this year’s walk can do so by logging onto dil.pieta.ie or by attending one of several registration events taking place over the coming days.
“We’ll be taking registrations at the Mall Complex between 4.30pm and 7pm this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We’ll also be doing it on Friday morning from 11am to 2pm. Online registrations close at midnight on the day of the walk and registrations can be accepted at the Mall from 3am to 4am on the morning.
Several local businesses, volunteer groups and clubs are also lending a hand to ensure the event runs smoothly.
“Dunnes Stores are providing tea and Hanlon’s Gala is supplying coffee,” Catherine revealed. “Sean Cahill is donating milk and Tesco will provide snacks, while McCarrick’s Cash and Carry are donating 1,000 bottles of water.
“We’re also being helped by Civil Defence, Longford Scuba Divers, Longford Volunteer Association, Midlands Motor Rally Club, Midlands Motorcycle Club, and the Boy Scouts.”
The aim of the Darkness Into Light Walk is to raise funds for Pieta House, a network of suicide and self-harm crisis centres, and the event is now in its seventh year, with this being the second time a Longford challenge has been organised.
Catherine explained that since last year’s local walk, the charity has noticed an increase in the number of people from the county approaching it to seek help.
“Money raised is used to fund counselling for these people. Pieta House has said it has been contacted by more people from CoLongford since last year’s walk, so it has highlighted their services.”