MORE THAN €6m euro has been raised for suicide prevention charity Pieta as part of the annual Darkness into Light event in Ireland.
At the time of writing €6.4m euro had already been pledged online as part of the annual fundraiser used to generate essential funds for the charity, which provides intervention, counselling, and bereavement services.
First founded in 2009, the original Darkness into Light event saw some 400 people gather in Dublin’s Phoenix Park to watch the sunrise together in a show of support for Pieta’s work.
The fundraiser has grown in stature ever since and while Covid-19 restrictions prevented the organisation of another mass gathering this year, people across Ireland still found a way to show their support.
More than 140,000 people across Ireland shared a sunrise together in socially distanced conditions, braving the heavy rain and wind seen in large parts of the country.
An absolutely spectacular #DarknessIntoLight2021 from #Kinsale, Co #Cork — a parade of 200+ blue-light and amber-light vehicles to spread a message of hope to those struggling and to thank our frontline emergency services. Drone: 🙏 Jakub Walutek. #DIL2021 @PietaHouse @rtenews pic.twitter.com/K6TBVm4Qm5
— Paschal Sheehy (@PaschalSheehy) May 8, 2021
There were standout efforts seen in places like Kinsale in Co Cork where more than 200 vehicles from the HSE, gardaí, Naval Service, fire service, Revenue's Customs Service, Red Cross and St John's Ambulance took part in a special dawn parade through the town.
They were joined by vehicles from the Order of Malta, Cork Airport Police and Fire Service, the Civil Defence and the local farming community.
All of the funds raised during the event were split between Pieta and both the Kinsale Youth Support Services and Kinsale Lions Club.
Over in Mayo, participants went one step further in braving the elements by going for a brisk morning swim from the picturesque Lacken Pier.
In Mayo, participants took to Lacken Pier for an early morning swim.
— Laura Lynam (@call_me_elliee) May 8, 2021
Prior to the day’s fundraising, Pieta has set a target of €5m.
That was exceeded before the day was even done, with the final total still to be confirmed.
It will mean so much to those who benefit from Pieta’s incredible services though with the funding going towards the provision of eight hours of free counselling to up to 3,500 people.
The funding will also keep 200 qualified therapists employed and freely available to anyone who needs them. Pieta runs call and text services via a free crisis line.
Anyone wishing to donate to Pieta can do so here.