Darkness Into Light
April 22, 2015
A Chairde / Dear friends
There are, once more, ordinary people in the Irish community in Ireland and across jurisdictions showing great leadership on some very serious issues that are fundamental to address for the future wellbeing of our society in Ireland and here in the UK.
Pieta House have really captured hearts with their inspiring initiative by providing everyone with a practical way of demonstrating support and empathy for people affected by suicide. The centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide opened over nine years ago with Lucan in County Dublin the centre of operations. In the intervening years they have seen and helped nearly 17,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and opened up seven subsequent centres, three in the greater Dublin area - Ballyfermot, Tallaght and Finglas and four further centres to cater for the rest of the country in Mungret, just outside Limerick city, Tuam, Roscrea and Castleisland.
80,000 people took part in Darkness Into Light walks last year in Ireland. Last year for the first time ever there were two international walks, in London and Syndey. This year the international venues have multiplied with 2 in Scotland (Glasgow, Aberdeen) and 4 in England (London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool). There are walks in 3 locations in both Canada and the USA and 5 locations in Australia. Approx. 500 people took part in the first ever walk held in London raising Â£10,000 of which Â£5000 was given to the local London partner ICAP and Â£5000 going to Pieta House in Ireland.
Tara Cronin and the London committee (including the Kerry Association) did great work in bringing the walk to London last year and making it such a success. They, working voluntarily, are a credit to the community here and in Ireland and they deserve our support.
The need for suicide prevention could not be greater in our community. Studies have consistently reported higher rates of suicide amongst Irish migrants in Britain than in the population as a whole. Additionally it is a big problem in the UK as highlighted by BBC Journalist Simon Jack who courageously told his story on the news and panorama last week.
Letâs do our best to get the word out this year again to support those in our community who are under pressure and are not coping with the struggles of everyday life. Please encourage, cajole, persuade, badger friends and family to come out in support of this worthwhile cause as surely we, here in London, not only want to raise funds to support those in our community but also to outperform the likes of Sydney, Toronto, Chicago and New York!!
I would like to acknowledge the support of Clare Duffy of the ESB and her team for supporting this cause and the GAA Community in Britain and in Ireland.
Please try and get your club members to come and support the 5km walk on Saturday 09 May at 0415am from the Crown Moran Hotel , and please spread the word. I also copy many others to this message outside the GAA community but ask of you the same thing. Here are the details.
Suicide is a big problem, and no family escapes its hardship. We all know families and friends who have had to face the future following tragedy and there is no greater thing than positively celebrating the gift of life. That is what this walk is all about. It gives us the chance to show solidarity with our community in Ireland and other countries and demonstrate that we as an Irish people are showing great responsibility for each other and that TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE both to our community at home and the communities where we live.
Can I ask that those of you who use social media twitter this. And letâs build this into a London show of strength!
'Is mise le meas' / Kind regards