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Darkness into light, Brussels 2018 - Public launch


22 Jan 2018


Health & Consumers
Irish in Brussels leading a walk for suicide awareness


Irish in Brussels leading a walk for suicide awareness

Dateline – Launch Event, Wednesday 24 January, 18h00, President's Salon, European Parliament, Brussels

The Irish and wider expat community is delighted to launch the first Darkness Into Light fundraising walk in Belgium, and we encourage all to “Wake Up and Walk with Us” on May 12th 2018. This walk/run raises funds for Pieta House, an Irish suicide prevention charity, and associated charities internationally. Participants will meet before dawn (4.00am) on Saturday May 12th and walk or run for 5km to meet the sunrise.

The Darkness Into Light initiative began in 2009, when a bereaved couple in Dublin rose at 4h00 to walk from darkness into the dawn in memory of their son, who had been lost to suicide. The event has grown exponentially since then – from 400 people in Dublin’s Phoenix Park to an event celebrated last year in over 145 towns and cities worldwide, with 180,000 participants. This year will be the first time the Darkness Into Light event is held in Belgium.

The fundraising walk will be launched by Commissioner Phil Hogan in the presence of President Antonio Tajani on Wednesday, 24th January at 18h00 in the President's Salon, European Parliament.

Other speakers will include the event’s host, Brian Hayes MEP, as well as representatives of Pieta House and two partner Belgian associations.

A promotional video will be premiered, featuring testimonials from those bereaved through suicide and comments by Commissioner Hogan and 14 other Commissioners. This video will feature the music of Melissa James.

Funds raised from the Brussels Darkness Into Light Walk will jointly benefit Pieta House - an Irish Suicide Prevention organisation, and two Belgian organisations which share similar values: Centrum ter Preventie van Zelfdoding and Centre de prevention de suicide.

Speaking to promote the public launch is Chairperson Sarah Ironside: "Motivated by the success of Darkness Into Light in Ireland and venues across the world, we are delighted to bring this symbolic event to Brussels. We want to walk with those affected or bereaved by suicide. We understand that mental health care is important to all of us. We look forward to creating strong connections and showing support for this powerful event and worthy cause here in Brussels, the heart of Europe”.

Darkness Into Light will take place at 4h00 on Saturday May 12, 2018 – participants will start their walk/run in darkness at the Parc Cinquantenaire – but finish by walking into the light of dawn. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for more information on registration – and we look forward to you walking with us on May 12th. BRUSSELS EVENT : 12 May 2018

Organising Committee : Sarah Ironside, Clodagh Hourigan, Marie and Rob Murphy, Jackie and Noel Rowland, Dervla O'Shea, Amanda Joyce, Catherine Hennessy, Enda O'Dwyer, Genevieve Deering, Brona Heenan, Claire Langton, Virginia Quirke, Sean Pol De Burca, Niall Thompson, Dorothy Nolan, Fiona Kearns


Sarah Ironside Chair, Darkness into Light Brussels Committee +32 485 323647