Dundalk's Darkness Into Light takes place at DkIT tonight
Organisers of the Dundalk Darkness Into Light say they are "extremely disappointed" by the situation which has left many participants of tonight's charity walk without t-shirts.
T-shirt distribution for the event, which is being handled in house by the charity Pieta House and not by individual organising committees, has been an issue with many people who signed up well in advance of the event reporting they have yet to receive their yellow t-shirts.
Anyone who signed up for the event before May 4th was 'guaranteed' a t-shirt, according to the Darkness Into Light website. However, in a statement today, organisers of the Dundalk walk - Sean Kelly and Orla Sheridan - say they hope people can see past the issue of missing t-shirts and instead focus on the real purpose of the walk.
"Dundalk DIL committee would like to apologise to all our participants about the ongoing t-shirt issue," it read. "We had no hand, act or part in t-shirt distribution. This is dealt with by Pieta House centrally. To those of you who have yet to receive your tshirts we are so genuinely sorry, but it is out of our hands.
"We ask that you email DIL@pieta.ie with your details or alternatively we will have spreadsheets available tonight where you can fill out your details and we will ensure Pieta House get a tshirt to you.
"If you are frustrated by the situation imagine how we, the local volunteer committee, feel having spent months planning tomorrow mornings events including attending registration events at Marshes and in companies/groups across the North east, countless meetings with authorities in DKIT, Louth Co Co, the Garda, Red Cross, numerous site visits to DKIT, putting up posters and dropping leaflets and engaging with suppliers to ensure we have refreshments for all participants.
"We are also extremely disappointed and do not want tonight to be overshadowed by t-shirts.
"Darkness into Light is more than a t-shirt, it’s a movement to fight the stigma of suicide, an event to remember our lost loved ones and an opportunity for us to show support for those people struggling with their mental health," the statement continued.
"Please remember that tonight. We will get your t-shirts to you in due course, in the meantime wear last year’s and or something else yellow. Please don’t make tonight about t-shirts, it’s not about them, it’s so much more important then that.
The 2018 event will take place tonight (May 12th) at 4.15am at Dundalk Institute of Technology.
Darkness Into Light is a global movement against suicide which saw over 150,000 people across Ireland walk until dawn to raise money for Pieta House in 2017.
The charity event sees participants walk or run a 5km route in order to raise awareness of issues such as suicide, self-harm, and stigma surrounding mental health issues.
The early dawn represents hope and is symbolic of the work of Pieta House; bringing people from darkness back into the light.
Last year, Dundalk IT hosted the town's first walk with huge numbers taking part and raising over €60,000.