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Sunrise celebration Thousands gearing up for 'special' Darkness Into Light fundraiser this Saturday

While there will be no organised gatherings like in years past, the Darkness Into Light team are asking people to wake up at sunrise and take part in a way that suits them – whether it be walking, cycling, or even swimming

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Thousands of people around the country will wake up to watch the sunrise on Saturday for this year’s Darkness Into Light.

The Covid-19 pandemic has prevented many events from happening, but a pandemic-friendly version of the annual charity fundraiser will go ahead on Saturday 8th May.

Pieta House and Electric Ireland are encouraging everyone to sign up and take part in experiencing the sunrise together and “give the gift of hope to those impacted by suicide and self-harm.”

While there will be no organised gatherings like in years past, the Darkness Into Light team are asking people to wake up at sunrise and take part in a way that suits them – whether it be walking, cycling, or even swimming.

Pieta House Fundraising Manager Tom McEvoy said that this year’s event will be a “special” one.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he said: “This year is a special year. After having to cancel Darkness Into Light last year, unfortunately we had to postpone it, this year after popular demand, people really want to continue supporting the work of Pieta.

“This year, we’re going to celebrate one sunrise together on the 8th of May. We’re asking people to register for Darkness Into Light and you can support Pieta by registering or also choosing to do a challenge, perhaps a traditional 5km walk or it could be a swim, a bike, or a hike.

“It’s something that people love to give their support to around this time.

“You can go to darknessintolight.ie and you can simply register, or you can push a donate button there too.”

The Late Late Show is also hosting a Darkness Into Light special this Friday, and a host of guests will be appearing on the show to support the cause.

Oscar nominated actress Sharon Stone will speak to Ryan Tubridy, as well as Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore and Irish country music star Sandy Kelly.

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Sharon Stone will speak to Ryan Tubridy (PA)

Sharon Stone will speak to Ryan Tubridy (PA)

Sharon Stone will speak to Ryan Tubridy (PA)

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Westmeath GAA star and former AFL player Ray Connellan, spoken word artist Malaki, and ultra-marathon runner Conor O'Keeffe will speak about their personal experiences with mental health pressures.

A special musical performance is expected from the Pillow Queens as they perform a rendition of The Cranberries single When You’re Gone.

Pieta clinical manager Leigh Kenny will be telling viewers why the suicide prevention charity's services are in demand now more.

The show will raise funds for this year’s Pieta House Darkness into Light in aid of suicide prevention.

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