East Mayo town hosts biggest Darkness into Light walk in county

By 4.15 a.m. this morning over 500 people had registered for the first official Darkness Into Light in Kiltimagh, making it the biggest walk in Mayo based on official registered numbers (prior to the event) and the biggest ‘New Venue’ walk in the West of Ireland.

The event took place as part of Pieta’s annual fundraiser to raise money for lifesaving suicide and self-harm prevention and is supported by Electric Ireland.

Against the backdrop of a crisp clear morning, the participants gathered to begin the 4.7K loop walk which started and ended at the Bocce Courts, Kiltimagh.

Well renowned local musician Ollie Burke performed a mix of tunes to an enthusiastic crowd who were already buzzed with excitement for this auspicious occasion.

The chairperson of the Darkness Into Light Kiltimagh Committee, Joe Corry gave a brief talk before the walk commenced.

Over 35 volunteer stewards were positioned at key strategic locations along the route helping to illuminate the bends and turns while providing guidance to all participants as they eagerly made their way down Chapel Street and all around the hinterlands of Cordarragh and Kilcon.

The joyful singing of the award-winning Cill Aodain Choral Society, with musical director Ms. Finola Higgins, performed a repertoire of songs at the Sculpture Park on the way back which added magnificently to the occasion.

Their sweet dulcet voices provided a perfect accompaniment to the beautiful cacophony of bird song that resonated along the route in the form of the ‘Dawn Chorus.’

An added feature of the Darkness into Light Kiltimagh Inaugural Walk was ‘The Silent Remembrance Stretch.’

At a distance of just over 0.5K, this part of the route was designated as a special place of remembrance, where all participants could walk in silence and pay an additional mark of respect to the loved ones they lost through suicide.

Participants were welcomed back to the Bocce Courts with live music from Ollie Burke and a tasty array of refreshments which were sponsored by a host of local businesses.

The Darkness Into Light Kiltimagh Committee chairperson Joe Corry, together with a passionate and dedicated group of volunteers, spearheaded an extremely successful campaign.

By participating in the Darkness into Light event, supporters have made a real and tangible difference, as the €26 sign-up fee for Darkness Into Light can enable Pieta to answer two calls to their 24/7 helpline, providing immediate support and guidance to those in crisis.