Darkness Into Light,Buncrana was a huge success and ‘exceeded all expectations.’
The 5k walk and run in aid of and to raise awareness of Pieta House took place in venues across the country in the early hours of Saturday morning.
In Buncrana, where it was held for the very first time, 850 men, women and children of all ages and from all areas of the peninsula took part,
The event was a testament to the hard work of the five person committee who organised Darkness Into Light, Buncrana - chairperson Emma Murphy, Sueanne McGonigle, Jade Doherty, Dawn Lambe and Paddy Doherty.
Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ Ms McGonigle said they were “overwhelmed” by the support they received from the entire community.
She said: “We knew we had a lot of support from the community, but our ambitious estimate was that we’d have about 500 people taking part. The fact that 850 people did so is just overwhelming. We honestly never expected it.”
Ms McGonigle said the committee had undertaken what they set out to do - to raise awareness of Pieta House within the local community.
She said: “Our job was to create awareness and I do think we did that. We had people come up to us saying they hadn’t heard of it before but they have now and that was very important to us.”
Ms McGonigle described the walk as “emotional” and said many people undertook it in memory of loved ones.
She said: “Many of us have taken part in the walk in Letterkenny and found that emotional but this completely surpassed it. The support the people of Inishowen gave the event was incredible. There were people who never took part it in before and others who were there in memory of a loved one. It was magical.”
The event was attended not only by people in Buncrana but by others across the peninsula and from Derry.
Ms McGonigle said many people raised money online, while some who could not take part in the walk donated funds to Pieta House.
She said: “We even had children come up to us with their pocket money. It shows how incredible this community is. We didn’t have to buy a sandwich or a bottle of water for refreshments. The local busineses and people just rowed in behind us, as did people offering venues for pre-registration and Scoil Mhuire, where the walk started and ended.”