By Michelle Crean
A local mother, whose young son took his own life, is now calling for an outreach service for Killarney town to help others in distress.
Marie O’Carroll, who has spearheaded ‘Nathan’s Walk Darkness Into Light’ since 2011 to remember her “beautiful boy” Nathan (14), has helped raise €350,000 to date from the local walk in aid of Pieta House.
Nathan died on December 16, 2007, however, his memory lives on as thousands descend on Killarney every year for the walk.
“He was a beautiful little boy,” Marie O’Carroll told the Killarney Advertiser this week.
“He loved everybody, he was a people’s person and would help anyone.”
And as Marie, and her family, prepare for this year’s annual walk, taking place on Saturday, May 11, at 4.15am, she’s hoping that funds this year could be set aside to open an outreach service locally.
“We are pushing strongly for an outreach centre in Killarney,” she said.
“We are hoping this year to get one in Killarney. Even if it was only two days a week – it’d be very helpful for people to make contact with qualified counsellors.”
She added that Killarney was the first town in Kerry to hold a Darkness into Light walk. The first year we raised €25,000, the second €30,000 and year three €60,000.”
This coming Monday night, the walk will be officially launched in JM Reidy’s, at 7.45pm.
There’ll be guest speakers and finger food. On the night, participants can pre-register for the walk in Reidy’s Courtyard.
“Everyone is welcome on the night,” she added.
If unable to attend, there will also be four pre-registration nights in the Racecourse on Thursday and Friday May 2 and 3, and again the following week on Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10, from 5pm to 8pm.
People can also register on the night but hare advised to arrive at least two hours beforehand, she added.
The 5k route will begin from Killarney Racecourse, go down the main Ross Road, the Lakeshore Walk down by the river bed, and out by Tangneys.
People are also reminded to bring torches, and refreshments including teas and coffee, water and cakes will be available after the walk.