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Stars Sign Up for #Run4Pieta

Writes Pamela Newneham and Ciaran Dineen

Tomorrow, 30th April, a host of well-known Cork names will join a host of our own local stars at Carrigaline GAA, with the launch of #Run4Pieta. The event has been organised to raise money for Pieta House, a charity who provide free therapy to those who suffer with mental health difficulties. Pieta House are well supported every year, with much of the funding that they receive raised from the now well-known, Darkness Into Light campaign.

Alex Murphy - aka - Conor Macsweeney

However, the impact of Covid-19 has had drastic consequences for many charities in the country, including Pieta House, who last year saw €1.5 million raised in Cork from Darkness Into Light. Many of those in the Carrigdhoun area will have used and benefited from the facilities over the years and so it has become a mission to find alternative ways of fundraising.

Carrigaline GAA were the first to create a new way of doing the run, to raise much needed funds for Pieta House. Members of the GAA club are going to run in consecutive one-hour slots from 7pm on Thursday, April 30th until 7pm on Sunday, May 3rd, within 2km of their homes.

More than 40 of the club’s members are taking part and they will be running on their own in the vicinity of their homes, as per government guidelines on exercise. However, club players have now been joined in the event by a number of well-known recruits. These include former Carrigaline Community School teacher and Cork ladies’ football star, Bríd Stack, former Cork City and current St Pats left-back, Carrigaline’s Shane Griffin, Young Offenders protagonist Alex Murphy (aka Conor MacSweeney) and current Irish and Munster rugby international, John Ryan, and his Munster teammate, Crosshaven native Darren O’Shea. They will be joined by a host of other familiar names such as Cork Captain Ian Maguire and former All-Ireland winners Pearse O’Neil, and of course Carrigaline’s own Nicolas Murphy.

Each of the willing participants will run three one-hour slots over the course three days, with at least one slot taking place between 11pm and 6am.

The event aims to raise €10,000 for Pieta House, a centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, but at time of writing over €11,000 has been raised.

Carrigaline GAA said Pieta House is a wonderful charity which does remarkable work on a local and national level. “Our inspiration came from Pieta's trademark event 'Darkness Into Light' which has been postponed this year due to Covid19 restrictions and government guidelines,” Carrigaline GAA club said.

“We would encourage other clubs, sports teams, friends groups and members of the public to get involved in doing their own walk/run in darkness & in light over the weekend ( on your own or with people from your household, maintaining social distance and keeping within 2km of your own home).

One of the main actors in coming up with the idea, Stephen Dwane spoke to the Carrigdhoun on the eve of the event, explaining why he and his friends came up with the concept and how excited they are to get on the road. “We chose Pieta House as we saw Darkness into Light had been cancelled due to Covid-19. We know how big an event it is for Pieta around the country so we thought of an idea that could also be carried out all over Ireland. Ours will be the first event but Pieta have now multiple clubs all over Ireland on board to do a run4pieta event throughout May to raise much needed funds for Pieta House. We are delighted with the reaction we have got so far and can't thank everyone enough for the support they have shown us with donations and also getting involved to help raise awareness for Pieta House”.

It’s not the first time during this pandemic that Carrigaline GAA have fostered community spirit after they announced that a number of senior players were available on standby to any elderly or vulnerable people who needed help with their shopping or other activities that they could no longer do due to the current circumstances. They have shown what community spirit is all about during this difficult time and their actions have been a shining light in the darkness.

Well done to Carrigaline GAA, all those taking part and to the hundreds who have donated so far.

The GAA club has set up a GoFundMe page where members of the public can donate to support their run for Pieta House. People can donate at

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