Pieta House raises over €6 million from Darkness Into Light

People share their experience of walk on social media for mental health charity

Kinsale has marked the ‘Darkness into Light’ suicide prevention fundraising event with a special community initiative involving 206 emergency vehicles who paraded through the Co.Cork town in the rain just before dawn. Video: Jakub Walutek


Suicide-prevention charity Pieta House has raised over €6 million so far in its Darkness Into Light walking appeal.

Unlike normal years when tens of thousands of people gather around the world for a 5km walk at dawn, this year people were asked to share their experiences on social media through its Sunrise campaign, a canny piece of recasting that has furthered its reach.

Pieta House’s funding and advocacy manager Tom McEvoy said on Friday: “It’s gathering momentum. 130,000 people have already registered their events.”

“It’s happening all over the world but especially in Ireland where people will be gathering in their own bubbles, socially distancing.”

By 8am on Saturday morning, the charity reported €6.4 million worth of activity already registered on its website.

Although Darkness Into Light has been successful in reshaping the flagship event in the last year – it accounts for half of Pieta’s annual funding – it is hoped the traditional walks will return from 2022.