Carpe Noctem Event Illuminates Mayo’s Potential as a Dark Sky County

The Mulranny Park Hotel was abuzz with excitement on September 28th as over 85 participants gathered for the “Carpe Noctem – Be a Mayo Dark Sky Ambassador” event.This full day of training provided an education programme for communities and local residents on the importance of dark sky-friendly lighting and the potential for Mayo to achieve Dark Sky county status.

Leading the training was Dan Oakley, a distinguished figure from the UK and current chair of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Places committee. Dan’s expertise in preserving the sanctity of night skies was invaluable in guiding participants’ understanding of the significance of responsible lighting practices. Assisting him was Mayo man Adrian Langan, a PR and communications consultant, whose practical workshop added an essential layer of community engagement to the training.

One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of the launch of a dark sky-friendly lighting scheme at St Patrick’s Church in Newport. This pioneering project features the visionary designs of Kerem Asfuroglu of Dark-Source Design in collaboration with local contractors Electric Skyline, to deliver a delicate and considered scheme in keeping with the unique architecture. The latest project phase, supported by Mayo County Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development, will be officially launched on 16th October, following an evening reception in Hotel Newport. The duty of flipping the switch falls to esteemed conservationist and TV presenter Duncan Stewart, Patron of the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies, whose dedication to environmental causes has inspired many.

The Newport church lighting scheme is a multi-phase project driven by local residents as an example of how communities can proactively embrace sustainable practices with considered lighting at night, whilst championing the preservation of our natural environment. Its launch marks a significant milestone in Mayo’s journey towards achieving Dark Sky county status.

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Contact Georgia MacMillan

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