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Ray of hope Pieta House raises €6.6 million from Darkness into Light despite poor weather conditions

Instead, this year participants were encouraged to witness the sunrise to share their experiences on social media through the charity’s Sunrise campaign.

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Harry Greenen (9) and his dog Rocky pictured in Greystones Co Wicklow taking part in Pieta’s Darkness Into Light 2021. Picture: Andres Poveda

Harry Greenen (9) and his dog Rocky pictured in Greystones Co Wicklow taking part in Pieta’s Darkness Into Light 2021. Picture: Andres Poveda

Harry Greenen (9) and his dog Rocky pictured in Greystones Co Wicklow taking part in Pieta’s Darkness Into Light 2021. Picture: Andres Poveda

Tens of thousands of people across the country woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to take part in the annual Darkness into Light event. 

In aid of suicide-prevention charity Pieta House, participants braved the poor weather conditions and raised over €6 million.

Over 140,000 people signed up for the fundraiser and as of today, a total of €6,585,238 has been raised.

€1.1 million of this total sum was raised by last night’s The Late Late Show viewers.

The first Darkness into Light run/walk was held in 2009 and since then it has become a major annual event.

Usually organised routes are set up throughout the country as participants walk or jog 5km at the crack of dawn.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these organised events could not take place for the past two years.

Instead, this year participants were encouraged to witness the sunrise to share their experiences on social media through the charity’s Sunrise campaign.

Thousands took to parks, beauty spots and other locations across the country for the 5km walk with some even braving a swim despite the weather conditions.

Social media influencer Lousie Cooney, a Pieta House ambassador, was among those who took part in the walk.

The Limerick beauty wrote on Instagram: “A memorable walk for sure. So amazing and emotional to see the support from so many people braving the elements this morning. Nothing will stop us Irish, even hurricane-like weather.

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She added: “I hope this morning acts as a little reminder for anyone who’s feeling low, there is always help out there, you’ll find it in even more people than you think. @pieta.house offer free services - call 1800247247 or text help 5144. Keep trying until you find something that works, where there’s life there’s hope.”

Speaking about the event on Friday, Pieta House’s funding and advocacy manager Tom McEvoy said: “It’s gathering momentum. 130,000 people have already registered their events.

“It’s happening all over the world but especially in Ireland where people will be gathering in their own bubbles, socially distancing.”

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