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Excitement builds as Killarney gets ready to walk for Nathan

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Always one of the most eagerly anticipated mornings of the year, Nathan’s Walk, or Darkness into Light as the event is known nationally, will take place on May 6.

This will be the seventh annual Darkness into Light march in Killarney as the fundraiser continues to get bigger and more successful with each passing year.

The event is hosted by Marie and Denis O’Carroll who tragically lost their 14- year-old son Nathan to suicide in 2007. The aim is to generate much needed funds for the suicide and self-harm awareness centre Pieta House, while also raising awareness of an issue which has been all too frequently stigmatised in this country.

Darkness into Light started with approximately 400 people walking the 5km course in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2009. This year, there will be approximately 150 venues across Ireland and worldwide.

In 2016, over 130,000 people took part in the events.

Founded in Dublin in 2006, Pieta House now has services nationwide. Pieta offers free counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation, those who have been bereaved by suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm.

Nathan’s Walk will start at 4.15am at the Killarney Race Course and participants are invited to walk, jog, skip or run the 5km route at their own pace.

The march begins in darkness and ends as the sun comes up and there’s sure to be another massive turnout for this symbolic event.

Speaking after the official launch which took place at the Porterhouse on Tuesday, Nathan’s mother Marie said the family were excited about this year’s walk.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” she said.

“We’re hoping for another great turnout.”

She also thanked The Porterhouse for making a wonderful job of hosting the launch and Senator/founder of Pieta House Joan Freeman, Kieran Brady and Kieran O’Brien (Pieta House Limerick) for attending.

Although it will be possible to register on the day, the organisers suggest signing up online at http://dil.pieta.ie/ before April 27 to save time and to get your official Darkness into Light t-shirt.

There will also be pre-registration at the Killarney Race Course on May 3, 4 and 5 from 5-8pm.

You should also bring proof of registration (either printed or on your phone) and arrive 30 minutes before the start time.
 


 
Above: Nathan’s Walk was launched at the Porterhouse, Killarney on Tuesday. The Darkness into Light walk will take place on May 6 from Killarney Race Course. Pic: Marie Carroll-O’Sullivan.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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