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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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