Darkness Into Light, Pieta's annual fundraiser, has become one of the most iconic fundraising events in Ireland each year. Every year, thousands will partake in organised walks around the country through the dawn to raise money and awareness for the suicide prevention charity.
More than ever in the days of the Covid-19 lockdown, Pieta's services are essential. They offer lifesaving services that must be available at the time when they are needed most.
This year, naturally, Darkness Into Light had to be postponed. Like all charities, this is has left Pieta is serious trouble. 80% of their fundraising comes from the public. While the government's announcement of a €40million package to help tide charities over was a welcome one yesterday, it's also not enough to keep all essential services open.
Luckily the Irish people were there to step in. Last night's Late Late Show encouraged donations to Pieta and the response was absolutely incredible. Including a €100,000 donation from sponsors Electric Ireland, over €2 million had be raised by midnight last night, just minutes after the show had been off the air.
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) May 8, 2020
As part of the special show, the Late Late Show had a star lineup to talk about mental health that included Adam Clayton, Mary McAleese, Pierce Brosnan, and four of Ireland's greatest musicians Mary Black, Frances Black, Mary Coghlan and Sharon Shannon.
And they also spoke to the CEO of Pieta House Elaine Austin and Pieta client Paul McEvoy shared his heartbreaking story to the nation, leaving many watching in tears. Paul lost his brother to suicide in 2007 before battling his own fight with depression.
This morning, people around the country took part in the replacement for the annual walk, the Darkness Into Light Sunrise Appeal where we were encouraged to get up at 5.30am and watch the sunrise from our homes in solidarity with those impacted by suicide. You can donate right now to this appeal right here.