In the lead-up to Darkness into Light 2024, a fundraising drive in memory of the late Letterkenny businessman Richard Finney is gathering great momentum.

The Counter Deli owner, who died suddenly in September, was well known for his generosity and positive community spirit.

This month, Richard’s sister Karen Parkinson is continuing her brother’s legacy by hosting a number of events and fundraisers in his honour.

All funds will go to Pieta, a charity that was close to Richard’s heart.

“It was such a tragedy for our family, we miss him terribly and we would love to find something positive to come out of it, and to remember him by,” Karen tells Donegal Woman.

“It’s lovely to see Richard’s memory connected with supporting Pieta and raising the profile.”

Each year, The Counter Deli has been a hotspot for comforting drinks after the Darkness Into Light walk, with Richard and the team serving up their top-notch coffees with all proceeds going to Pieta.

This year Karen, who lives in Belfast, will join the Letterkenny community to chart the special 5k that carries immense significance to so many people.

Richard Finney and his sister Karen Parkinson

The Counter has been a passionate supporter of Pieta’s “Darkness Into Light” campaign for many years

Originally from Lisburn, Richard’s journey as a businessman in Letterkenny began in 2008 with The Wine Buff, a store he co-founded with his wife Olivia. They branched out to the Counter Deli, which started as a trailblazing wine and food store and expanded into a thriving deli and cafe.

“What was lovely about the wake in Letterkenny was all the stories from local people who were telling me how much Richard brought wine to Letterkenny. Obviously, people drank wine before, but he got people into all different makes and types, running events in Rathmullan and Lough Eske Castle.

“The Counter Deli means a lot to so many people and customers felt like they knew Richard from going in every week and chatting to him or Olivia.”

Then Richard turned his talents to making coffee and only the perfect pour would suffice – with the beans freshly ground of course! This dedication led him to set up Donegal’s first speciality coffee roastery, New Kid Coffee, at Bonagee.

Karen’s fundraiser (click here to donate) is one of a series of events taking place for Pieta in the coming weeks, including a wellness and fun event in association with Hinch Distillery and Gormleys Gallery in Belfast.

Karen, a popular travel and fashion influencer on Instagram, brings a natural skillset to organising people and businesses for such events.

More than just raising money, these events also celebrate Richard’s life and fun-loving personality.

“I want to keep the events positive and remember Richard in a fun way. He was so good at publicity himself, I hope this is what we have in common,” Karen said.

Richard Finney hosting one of his hugely popular tasting nights at The Counter Deli

Beyond the local events in Letterkenny and Belfast, Karen is also supporting an exciting online competition in aid of Pieta.

The Northern Ireland-based business, which specialises in offering high-end luxury breaks, is running a competition to win a two-night stay for up to eight people in a luxury Donegal property, all in Richard’s honour.

Fermanagh born sisters and owners of Prize-Getaways Ltd, Pauline Huth and Dr Anne Monaghan, decided to raise funds for Pieta as part of their corporate social responsibility.  

Pauline said: “We started the business earlier this year and it’s fair to say things have taken off so quickly that we wanted to start to work with some charities at an early stage. Pieta House is very deserving, and we are really pleased to be able to do this for them”.  

Win a 2 Night Stay at 5* holiday home in Portnoo, Co.Donegal with Prize-Getaways

Anne said: “This competition offers the lucky winner a family break for eight people in beautiful Portnoo, County Donegal for just £4.99 and with a charity benefitting everyone is a winner!” 

Tickets cost just £4.99 and you can enter by visiting The draw will be held on Thursday 25th April.  

To support Karen’s Darkness Into Light fundraiser please visit;

Follow Karen’s Instagram to find out more about other events:

If you need to talk to someone, contact Pieta by phoning Freecall 1800 247 247. Or if you can simply text HELP to 51444.