Family to take part in Darkness Into Light in memory of ‘beautiful’ Daniel

Daniel McEleney's mum Mena, (centre), his siblings and extended family members will take part in Darkness Into Light.
Daniel McEleney's mum Mena, (centre), his siblings and extended family members will take part in Darkness Into Light.

An Inishowen mother, whose “beautiful” son died by suicide in 2004, said he may “still be with them today” if Pieta House and its services had existed then.

Daniel McEleney’s mother, Mena, was speaking ahead of this year’s eighth ‘Darkness Into Light Walk/Run’, which, for the first time, will take place in Buncrana on Saturday morning.

Mena and numerous members of her family will take part in the event in memory of Daniel, from Clonmany and to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Pieta House. Thousands of people will gather at more than 100 venues nationally and internationally - including in Derry - to take part in the 5K walk/run that is ‘Darkness Into Light.’

As well as taking part in the Buncrana event, other members of the McEleney family have embraced the event on a global level and will undertake it from venues across Ireland and even as far away as Philadelphia in the USA.

Many other family and friends have also come on board and sponsored them to participate in the event this May 7th at 4.15am, for which Mena and her family are extremely grateful.

Mena said: “Sadly we lost our beautiful son, brother and uncle, Daniel McEleney on October 10th 2004.”

She added they “were not aware that Daniel felt that way and his death came as a total shock.”

Mena feels that if Pieta House had existed or if suicide wasn’t such a taboo subject, “Daniel may have been able to avail of these services” and may “still be here with them today.”

She said she hopes “even if one person can be saved, that even just one person hears about Pieta House and reaches out for help.”

Funding for Pieta House is vital as it costs approximately €1,000 to bring one person through a full suite of therapy sessions, to bring them from the darkness into the light.

The organisers of this year’s Buncranevent say they have had a “fantastic response” and people have been “so supportive,” both in registering to do the walk and offering their help for pre-registration, refreshments and more. They would still appreciate a few more volunteers to steward (See the Darkness Into Light facebook page for details). Local businesses, clubs and schools have been ‘invaluable’ in offering their premises for pre-registration, supplying equipment and refreshments. But, they are appealing to local businesses to donate some bottled water, fruit, sandwiches and juice and for local bakers to perhaps rustle up a little something.

They urge as many as possible to pre-register, not only to save themselves an extra early start on the morning but also to help themplan and cater accurately. Those who have registered in advance are asked them to arrive about 45 minutes prior to start time. Those registering on the morning-will have to come a little earlier. More pop-up pre-reg/t-shirt collections will be held this week. All details will be on the Facebook page-Darkness Into Light Buncrana.

The organisers are “delighted to say” they’ve “reached a lot of people who had never previously heard of Pieta House, or aware that the service they provide even existed.”

Advice from Pieta House for the DIL walk is to dress warmly.

Layers are a good idea, and some kind of waterproof jacket too. You may not need a hat, scarf and gloves during the event, but you will before and after! Also, if you can at all, please bring a torch.

If you or someone you know is self harming or feeling suicidal please go to www.pieta.ie/contactus to find your nearest Pieta House. You can also make an appointment with your local GP, call NowDoc on 1850 400 911, the Samaritans on 116 123 (Derry branch 028 71265511) Childline 1800 66 66 66 or see www.insightinishowen.ie