Connacht join forces with Pieta House

The suicide and self-harm crisis centre is the new charity partner of the PRO12 champions

BY Newstalk 10:18 Tuesday 24 January 2017, 10:18 24 Jan 2017

Eoin Griffin, Stacey Ili, Head coach Pat Lam, Brian Higgins, Pieta House CEO and Cian Kelleher at the launch in the Sportsground Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

PRO12 champions Connacht have announced that the suicide and self-harm crisis centre Pieta House is their official charity partner for 2017.

For the remainder of the year, the Western province will work closely with Pieta House, providing them with active support on specific projects, including their flagship fundraising event Darkness into Light taking place at different locations around the country in May.

Last year, the five-kilometre event took place in 22 locations around the province. All five counties hosted an event, including two on the Aran Islands.

Connacht's players and management will be involved in various awareness campaigns for the national charity it has also been revealed.

"This is the second season we will work with Pieta House and we hope to make a real difference in helping them to raise awareness around self-harm and suicide in Ireland", Connacht’s Business Relationship Manager Barry McCann said.

Eoin Griffin, Stacey Ili, Eric Elwood, Brian Higgins, Pieta House CEO and Cian Kelleher at the launch in the Sportsground. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"As with every season our objective is to increase awareness for our charity partner. Pieta House do wonderful work and make a big impact in Connacht, Ireland and abroad and we look forward to working with them again this season. With so many deserving charities it is always a difficult process in selecting the nominated charities each season and where possible we will continue to support additional charity initiatives."

"I’m very grateful to Connacht Rugby for choosing to support Pieta House as their official charity partner for another season", Brian Higgins CEO of Pieta House, added at the announcement in Galway. "Partnerships and support of this kind are essential to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm in our communities."

"Our vision is to live in a world where suicide, self-harm and stigma have been replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance. Supporting and looking out for each other is a vital part of team sports and I encourage all those who are part of the club to continue to look after themselves and to watch out for each other." 

Pieta House West is based in Tuam. It provides one-to-one professional and therapeutic support to individuals across the western region who are struggling with thoughts of suicide or engaging in self-harm.

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