Connect with us


Transition from darkness to light “a powerful symbol for Ukrainians”




By Natalya Krasnenkova

We have a proverb in Ukraine - "the darkest time comes before dawn" which means that even at the most difficult moments in the life of a person or a country, dawn comes.

DARKNESS INTO LIGHT: Natalya Krasnenkova and Tatiana McGough pictured at the Killarney Darkness into Light walk.

EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Pictured at the Killarney Darkness into Light walk were: Stepan Krasnenkov Kryna Melnichuk and Natalya Krasnenkova. Photo: Tatiana McGough


And so there is hope that all pain and tragedy will surely pass, that pain and suffering are temporary and will surely come to an end. There is deep optimism in this phrase. It is this proverb that warms Ukrainians during wars, revolutions and personal tragedies.

Last week, my children and I got up at dawn to join 'Darkness into Light' which took place in Killarney. I already knew that the campaign started in 2009 in Dublin and has since spread throughout Ireland and other countries. I imagined thousands of people around the world waking up, putting on their clothes to embark on this important journey that gives many people hope for life and healing from mental health problems.

But when we arrived I could not have imagined that there would be so many people. Thousands of locals gathered together to start the night and completely dissolve into the darkness.

My children and I were the last to go. Occasionally we heard voices or saw the light from flashlights. We were left alone near Ross Castle completely in the dark. They heard only the birdsong, saw the silhouette of the castle and the silent lake. This was the culmination of our journey.

At that moment I thought of all those who went into darkness and did not return. For me, these were not only people who shortened their lives, but also those whose lives were forcibly taken as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine. My children and I watched the new day being born - and so the hope for life is born.

As we returned, the lights grew brighter and the voices of the people around us grew louder. The trip ended at dawn. And it was there that I felt joy and elation. There were living people around, hugging, drinking tea, greeting each other and taking pictures. Life went on.

In Ukraine, I have been working on the subject of death for the last two years. We promoted Anastasia Leukhina's book 'Non-scary book about life, death and everything in-between', which collected stories of many people who experienced the loss of loved ones, children, terrible diagnoses and the fight against older illnesses, as well as advice from doctors, psychologists and patients on how to cope with the most difficult life circumstances. This book, as well as 'Darkness into Light' gave people hope that there is always a choice and it belongs only to you, choosing how to live your life, even in the face of illness or loss of a loved one.

It was very difficult to promote the book in Ukraine, because it touched on the subject of death. I came up with and invited stars and thought leaders to read excerpts from the book on video. Many people voted, but many refused, because the topic of death in our society is taboo, people prefer not to talk about it.

As far as I was surprised, the Irish are so actively involved in actions in which they interact with the theme of death. For me, this is an inspiring example that I will take with me to Ukraine. Therefore, I hope that next May 7 such an action will take place in Kyiv.

Continue Reading


Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]




Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

Continue Reading


Philip is running over 100kms for Cancer charity

Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday. Phillip has already […]




Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday.

Phillip has already completed four half marathons at various locations around Killarney – all in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group – or the Cancer Bus as it popularly called.

This is the second time that Phillip has run four half marathon and an official race for the charity.

Back in 2021 he finished with 5km Run Killarney event but his finishing race this time around is over eight times the distance at 42kms.

“We are delighted with Philip’s continued fundraising support but also with his awareness raising for the charity,” Breda Dyland, Service Manager Kerry Cancer Support Trust.

“We are getting busier all the time and still get no statutory funding so are dependent on fundraisers like Philip’s to keep us on the road. We have just put our new wheelchair accessible bus on the Cork route so Philip’s funding will be going towards the operation of this vehicle.”


Continue Reading


Last News