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‘Sunrise Together’ to replace this weekend’s Darkness into Light

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SUNRISE APPEAL: Denis and Marie O’Carroll, Killarney, whose son Nathan tragically took his life at just 14-years-old in 2007 are raising awareness to donate to the Darkness into Light Sunrise appeal. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

By Sean Moriarty

This weekend should have been the biggest fundraising event of the year for Pieta House, instead, the mental health charity is fighting for its own existence.

In the early hours of tomorrow (Saturday) 250,000 people across the world, including Killarney, would walk together highlighting the fight against suicide and self-harm.

The annual Darkness Into Light charity walks are the main annual source of funding for Pieta.

However, due to the ongoing global pandemic, this year’s walks cannot go ahead as planned but Pieta House is hopeful replacement events can run on October 3.

Darkness Into Light is now a worldwide event but the Killarney early morning walk was the first such event outside Dublin.

Muckross woman Marie O’Carroll, has spearheaded ‘Nathan’s Walk Darkness Into Light’ since 2011 to remember her son Nathan who was only 14 when he took his own life.

The charity said that the cancellation of all the fundraising events has resulted in a loss of €6.5m.

Pieta House has been forced to cut staff salaries by up to 30 percent and announced 28 redundancies for clinical support workers.

The organising committee of the London event is Killarney woman Tara Cronin.

“We were sorry that the walk cannot take place tomorrow in London,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “We now have two walks in London and have started the planning for October already. Locally we have had great support for our charity partner Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy here in London that provides a similar service to Pieta. We will be showing our support for Pieta and the Sunrise appeal.”

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the public need for Pieta’s services was on the increase, with calls to Pieta’s helpline up 49 percent year on year while text messages to Pieta had increased by 46 percent. The funds raised from Darkness into Light helps to keep Pieta centres open, offering free therapy, the 24/7 helpline, and education and bereavement counselling for people in need of support.

In 2018, over 8,000 clients were supported with face-to-face therapy by Pieta experts. Since 2006, over 40,000 people received support from intervention and bereavement counselling services.


‘Sunrise Together’ to replace this weekend’s Darkness into Light

Pieta House is asking all its supporters to take part in an alternative event tomorrow morning (Saturday).

Instead of its annual Darkness Into Light walk, the charity is asking all participants and supporters to get up at 5.30am and watch the dawning of the day together.

“As a result of COVID-19, our helpline has seen an increase in calls from people all over the country who are in crisis right now with many others presenting with high anxiety. Funding from the public has never been more vital to keep Pieta’s door open. This will help fund our services, ensuring we can continue to support those in their darkest hours and to keep delivering our one-to-one counselling,” said Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta.

“While we are devastated that we won’t come together physically on Saturday morning, we will share a special moment of togetherness by getting up at 5.30am and watching the sun rise. We would also appreciate if people can wear yellow or a previous year’s t-shirt that day to show support for those impacted by suicide.”

Just €20 can fund two life-saving calls to those who are in crisis. Join the conversation online using the hashtags #DIL2020 #DILSunriseAppeal and make a life-saving donation at www.darknessintolight.ie.

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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