80,000 take part in Darkness Into Light walk

Patricia Delaney (centre) and her daughter Lorna and cousin Jessica Delaney taking part in the Pieta House Darkness into Light Walk from UCC today. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Up to 80,000 people have taken part in the Pieta House, Darkness Into Light walk for suicide prevention.

The 5k fundraising event got underway at 4.15am at 39 venues across the country. Participants crossed finishing lines just as dawn was breaking, symbolising hope.

More than 10,000 people took part in Co Limerick alone, with members of the Irish diaspora also taking part in events in London and Sydney. Registration figures were up 300% on last year.

The scene in Phoenix Park this morning

Pieta House is a nationwide counselling service for people who are suicidal or self-harming. Darkness into Light is the charity's sole fundraising event.

Speaking after this morning's event in Dublin, CEO of Pieta House, Joan Freeman said it was a huge success.

"In Dublin alone, we are estimating that almost 20,000 walked this morning. Around the rest of the country, we estimate at least 80,000 took part," she said.

"It has been such an incredible success."

Pictured (left to right) in the Phoenix Park this morning: Lorraine O'Donnell and Niamh Hugher from Tallaght. Picture: Photocall

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