Committee members and stewards on the morning with some of the first people to complete the walk/run, (from left) John and Cian Traynor, Mullingar, Enda Collins, Rathconrath, Penny Gavin, Dalystown, John Bawle, committee, Linda Cunningham, Castletown Geoghegan, Pat Byrne, committee, Declan Connolly, committee chairperson, Patricia Broderick, Rathconnell, and Paul Doolin, committee.

Darkness Into Light Mullingar

Getting up in the middle of the night doesn’t come easy to most, but when it’s for an event like the Darkness Into Light (DiL) walk and run, there is the extra bit of motivation.

This year the official DiL events in Westmeath were in Mullingar and Athlone, and there were a number of others is the smaller towns and villages.

The Mullingar one started and finished at St Loman’s GAA grounds, where Declan Connolly, chair of the Mullingar Darkness Into Light Committee, and the other members, Ken Glynn, Charlotte Connolly, John Bawle, Paul Doolin and Pat Bryne were on duty from 3am.

Declan told the Westmeath Examiner: “There’s the six of us, who organised the best part of it, and my son, Dillon, helped earlier on there today as well.

“We decided we’d try to run it again. It’s two years since it was on, and there’s people crying out for it, so we wanted to revive it after the two-year break with Covid.

“It’s important that it’s run, with people suffering with bereavement and loss, some of it through suicide – it’s more than important, really.”

The organisers estimated that something over 1,000 people took part. They’re pleased considering that the event didn’t get huge publicity, and that some of the other Westmeath towns and villages also held Darkness Into Light events, including Ballynacargy, Raharney, Tang and elsewhere

“It’s a bit more localised now and that’s probably the way it’s going to go,” said Declan.

He thanked the other members of the organising committee, St Loman’s GAA for the use of their grounds, the gardaí, Civil Defence, the local first responders and “of course the people who supported the event”.

Rose Duffy, Gaybrook (left) and Sonia McManus, Walshestown, who completed the walk together.
Enda Kavanagh, Lynn, Mullingar, Regina Healy, Dublin Road, Mullingar and Sonia McManus, Walshestown.
Joe Healy, Mullingar (left) and Richard Kavanagh, Coolmore.
Among the early runners were Linda Cunningham, Castletown Geoghegan, Siobhan Farry, Mullingar, and Louise Elliott, Killucan.
Teresa and Maurice Stenston, Mullingar.
Christopher and Julie Lynch, Kinnegad.
Anna Mai Glennon, Tyrrellspass, and Daniel Harding, Laois.
Exchange students at Castlepollard Community College, Linus Liebeling from near Frankfurt, Germany, and Hana Skuhrovcova from the Czech Republic. They have been in Westmeath for eight months, and are due to go home next month. They have enjoyed their time here, and were delighted to take part in the Mullingar Darkness Into Light event.
Barry Martin (Motors) from Great Oaks, Edwina Mitchell, The Downs, Sinead Martin, and Martin Maleady, Balla.