For many years the people of Balbriggan and its surrounds have been travelling to Skerries and other locations to support Pieta House in their fundraiser “Darkness into Light” and it would have been nice to see the event in Balbriggan. So many people in our community have been affected by Suicide and Mental Health and over the years I have contacted Pieta House with a view to having the event in Balbriggan. Unfortunately, as there was already one close by it made no sense to have two in such close proximity. However last year after again many telephone calls and discussion, it was agreed that Balbriggan would host its very first “Darkness into Light” and would I be able to get a committee together. I jumped at the chance and knew exactly the people that I could call on to get involved.
From the very first announcement that it was happening in Balbriggan, the whole community got behind us, everyone from local shops, coffee shops, pubs, schools and Nursing homes. With support from Fingal County Council, we were able to run the event without any cost to Pieta House so that all the money raised would go directly to the services, which was very important to us. After many weeks of planning the morning of 6th May was upon us and a wonderful bunch of volunteers including the scouts from 89th Bremore and 34th /161th meet to help the committee with the support of our local Garda and Order of Malta. To say we were overwhelmed with the amount of people who showed up was an understatement…..it was just amazing. The crowds of thousands all came together to walk and talk along a loop of Balbriggan and ending up to a wonderful sunrise on our lovely beach whilst listening to the sounds of the “Balbriggan Gospel Choir. It was very emotional to see so many out to support this worthwhile cause and the atmosphere was very special. We waited with bathed breath for the total amount raised and was blown away when we were advised that we raised 41,491.69 and which will go a long way to support those that need it most. Also, this year it was announced that Pieta was setting up a local service in Balbriggan for 12–25-year-olds who may be struggling with suicidal feelings, self-harm or who have lost a loved one to suicide and can be contacted on 0818 111 126. Editors Note: Congratulations to Cllr Maguire, the hardworking Committee and all who took part.