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Deenihan to lighten up the darkness

Minister Jimmy Deenihan. Photocall

Irish diaspora minister, Jimmy Deenihan, will step off with walkers this weekend in New York’s first ever “Darkness into Light” 5k Walk in the Bronx.

“Darkness into Light walks take place in more than eighty locations across Ireland and internationally and I’m thrilled to take place in this, the first New York walk.

“Thanks to funding under the Emigrant Support Programme from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pieta House is working with the GAA and a number of other local community organizations to provide counselling and suicide prevention services to the Irish community in New York,” Deenihan said.

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The walk aims to raise awareness of suicide, self-harm, and other mental health issues.

Gaelic Park will be the starting point and finish for the walk which will it pass through nearby Van Cortlandt Park. Walkers will start assembling at 4 a.m. with a starting time for the walk of 5.15 a.m. on Saturday, May 9.

For more information about Darkness Into Light New York contact Kieran O'Brien atdilkieranobrien@gmail.com, Caroline O'Connell at (212) 470-8470. Or the Darkness Into Light New York Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Minister Deenihan will also be attending a number of other events in the tristate area which was preceded by a visit to Newfoundland in Canada.

In New York, Deenihan will also be guest of honor at the New York launch of Drew University’s Transatlantic Connections 2 conference. The conference will take place in Bundoran, Co. Donegal in January, 2016.

The minister will then travel to Hamden, Connecticut, to visit Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and Institute at Quinnipiac University.

The University is currently exhibiting “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,” which explores the little-known story of the Grey Nuns of Montreal, who provided care and shelter to tens of thousands of Irish immigrants during the Great Famine.

Minister Deenihan will also travel to Parsippany, New Jersey for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s annual North American Convention and Fleadh.

The convention brings together the best of Irish traditional music, dance and arts in North America.

The minister will have the opportunity to view “The Sligo Masters,” the story of three of the greatest fiddle players ever to grace the traditional Irish Music stage: Michael Coleman, Paddy Killoran and James Morrison.

“Irish music, and culture more generally, is one of the most effective ways of connecting our diaspora, strengthening their links to home and maintaining expressions of Irish identity through generations,” said Deenihan.

“I am delighted to support Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann through the Emigrant Support Programme. Their work will ensure that Irish music will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.”

The minister will also attend a business brunch hosted by Irish Network New Jersey. IN-NJ connects Irish, Irish Americans and friends of Ireland across New Jersey through business, arts, sport, and social activities.