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Council Shines A Light On Samaritans Longest Night

Mid Ulster District Council is shining a light on the Samaritans Longest Night initiative this month by lighting up The Burnavon (Cookstown); Ranfurly House (Dungannon); and The Bridewell (Magherafelt) in the colour green from Monday 21st – Thursday 24th December inclusive.  The 21st is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and so, the longest night of the calendar year.

As tinsel and fairy lights adorn the streets across Mid Ulster, it can be easy to overlook how the festive season can be the hardest time of the year for some.

Council Chair, Cllr. Cathal Mallaghan voiced his support for the campaign, saying: 

“While Christmas can be a happy time for many, it can be quite challenging for others, especially this year. Lighting up our buildings on what is literally the longest night of the year is a way of expressing that there is light in the darkness if you are struggling, and helps in creating awareness that Samaritans are there to help support people in their darkest times, especially over the festive period.”

Samaritans offer emotional support to those who need it most, when they need it most. You don’t have to be suicidal to ring Samaritans. Many people call because they are stressed, depressed, anxious, bereaved or lonely or struggling with everyday life. 

Fiona BD, Director of Samaritans Omagh said it is important people seek help and support before they feel a problem or issue has escalated to the point it’s too late.

“It’s a time of year that can be a pressure-point for many people,” she said. 

“By marking the Longest Night this weekend, we are also saying to people that any time over the Christmas period can be a dark day for them and we’re here 24/7 to share a bit of light for them.”

Samaritians can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Freephone 116 123 or email  

Council Chair Cathal Mallaghan is pictured in Dungannon Council Chamber in front of the crest. He is beside Samaritans volunteer Liam, who is on the left hand side of the picture.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan meets Samaritians volunteer, Liam to discuss their Longest Night initiative, ahead of Council buildings being lit up from 21st to 24th December. 

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