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22. 5. 2024
22. 5. 2024

International Dark Sky Week 2023 in Mayo

Summary

International Dark Sky Week 2023 with lots of events for our next Dark Sky Roadshow taking place right across Mayo!

International Dark Sky Week taking place from 16-22 April is a global affair, organised annually by the International Dark Sky Association. On this global stage, Ireland is playing a leading role, particularly in County Mayo, home of Mayo Dark Sky Park.

Mayo Dark Sky Park consists of the 15,000 hectares of the lands of Wild Nephin National Park, comprised of the wild lands surrounding the Nephin Beg Mountain Range. A very special and unique place, much loved by the close-knit rural communities surrounding it, where those communities have come together to plan a roadshow of the county, taking in the dark sky communities of Newport, Mulranny, Ballycroy and Achill Island and welcoming urban areas in Westport and Castlebar as well as new hosts in Blacksod for the first time!

Mayo is home to Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park

We are so lucky here in Mayo, as we have some of the darkest skies in Europe, a resource that the world is starting to appreciate more and more, as excessive levels of artificial light continue to obliterate our view of the night sky. We are only now beginning to appreciate just how important natural skies are for our planet. Many of us think of science and stargazing when we think of the night sky, but it is also vitally important for biodiversity, human wellbeing and culture.

Each evening we visit a different community celebrating one of the facets of our dark sky story.

International Dark Sky Week Schedule April 16-22, 2023

Sunday 16th April takes us on a visit to Achill Island to the Deserted Village, for Soilse Spéire Acla – a sunset walk.

On Monday 17th we move Lough Lannagh in Castlebar for “Urban Dark Skies & Biodiversity”.

Tuesday 18th our visit is to Newport is more traditional astronomy and we welcome expert astronomer and Irish Times columnist John Flannery to Hotel Newport.

We look to ‘Gabh an Oíche’ (Carpe Noctem) on Wednesday 19th April,  We will be seizing the night whilst walking in the beautiful grounds of Westport House Estate as daylight fades. 

On the night of Thursday 20th, it’s Music of the Stars in Mulranny Arts Centre with Conan and Basya.

Friday 21st takes us for the first time to Blacksod where we will sample Stars and Stories of the Sea.

To close the week and round off the roadshow, on Saturday 22nd we travel to the Ballycroy Visitor Centre at Wild Nephin National Park, which will be the venue for “Dánta in the Dark”, with writers and reciters sharing works inspired by the wonder and beauty of dark ‘skies.

Whether you are an avid amateur stargazer, a budding naturalist or just curious about our natural world, – there is something for everyone at Mayo’s roadshow, celebrating International Dark Sky Week 2023!

Tickets are free but booking essential and available on http://mayodarkskies.eventbrite.com

General / Mayo Dark Sky Park Information:

Contact: Georgia MacMillan

Email: mayodarksky@gmail.com | Phone: 086 859 5166

Website: https://mayodarkskypark.ie/ or https://www.darksky.org/

Georgia is the Mayo Dark Sky Park Development Officer and is also an IRC Employment Based PhD Scholar in partnership with NPWS and NUI Galway