International Dark Sky Week 2023

International Dark Sky Week 2023 Poster

Lots of events for our next Dark Sky Road Show all over Mayo!  

International Dark Sky Week 2023

International Dark Sky Week, which takes place from 16-22 April is, as its name suggests, 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 15,000 hectares of natural wilderness in the Wild Nephin mountains, and it is a very special and unique place, much loved by the close-knit rural communities surrounding it.Those communities have planned a virtual 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!

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.We start on Sunday 16th April Achill Island at the Deserted Village, for Soilse Spéire Acla – a sunset walk.Changing venue for Monday we move Lough Lannagh in Castlebar for “Urban Dark Skies & Biodiversity”.On Tuesday our visit to Newport is more traditional astronomy and we welcome expert astronomer and Irish Times columnist John Flannery to Hotel Newport.

On Wednesday 19th April, we look to ‘Gabh an Oíche / Carpe Noctem’!  We will be seizing the night whilst walking in beautiful grounds of Westport House Estate as daylight fades, with guides from Wild Nephin National Park.  Thursday night is Music of the Stars in Mulranny Arts Centre with Conan and Basya and Friday 21st we sample Stars and Stories of the Sea in Blacksod.

To close the week and round off the roadshow, Ballycroy Visitor Centre at Wild Nephin National Park 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 our Eventbrite page.

General / Mayo Dark Sky Park info:

Georgia MacMillan 086 859 5166

Mayo Dark Sky Park Development Officer/

IRC Employment Based PhD Scholar in partnership with NPWS and NUI Galway

Check out our booking page on Eventbrite for info.  Updates coming soon!

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