Dark Sky Communities


Ballycroy is a beautiful, unspoilt village located on the west coast of Ireland. It is situated along the N59 and nestles quietly between Mulranny village and Bangor in the Barony of Erris, touching the Wild Atlantic ocean with breathtaking views of Inishbiggle Island, Achill Island and parts of Erris. It is surrounded by the Nephin beg mountain range covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness and offering ideal access to the visitor centre of the Dark Sky Park.

Ballycroy is the ‘Gateway to Erris’ and forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way and it is made up of 47 small townlands with a sparse population of only 600 people dotted around the area surrounding. The village itself has two shops, two pubs one being the very old and established world renowned ‘Clery’s pub’, where you can step back in time. It has a church, two National schools, Garda station, post office and a vibrant Community centre.

Ballycroy has a newly formed Astronomy Group and as one of the original members of the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies steering group, it fully supports the objectives and aspirations of the nearby Dark Sky Park.

Ballycroy Hills


Mulranny is a hidden treasure of spectacular landscapes and outdoor adventures perched on the Wild Atlantic Way along the rugged coast of Co. Mayo. Mulranny is located on an isthmus, a narrow neck of land that joins the Currane Peninsula to the Nephin mountain range and separates Clew Bay from Bellacragher Bay.

Mulranny offers beautiful coastal landscapes and seascapes. Its diverse vistas can be accessed along the 6km Mulranny Loop Walk, from the Victorian Causeway and the hand cut stone pier. Clean blue flag beaches and coastline offer an enhanced outdoor experience for all.

Stewardship of Mulranny’s environment, access, conservation and participatory learning events are the growing hallmarks of Mulranny’s sustainable tourism brand. Public lighting in Mulranny has recently been upgraded to reduce light pollution in the area and the community is a strong advocate for dark sky friendly lighting. Mulranny Community is also a founder member of the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies Steering group and regularly hosts dark sky related events and viewing nights.

Accommodation in Mulranny ranges from a four star hotel, self-catering and B&Bs.
For more information, please see the Mulranny Website.

Mulranny and Newport Scenery


Newport (Baile Uí Fhiacháin) is a small picturesque town, which nestles on the northern shores of Clew Bay, famous for its 365 Islands. Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, it is a gateway to Mulranny, Achill, Nephin and Ballycroy and only 18 km west of Castlebar, the county town of County Mayo, and 11 km from Westport. The town has a variety of accommodation for visitors from hotels and B&Bs to hostels with a variety of places to eat and activities on offer.

Newport was founded in the early 1700’s, and has several prominent architectural features such as St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (1914) constructed in the Irish Romanesque style by Rudolph M Butler. Its beautiful stained glass east window (“The Last Judgment”) is the last one completed by renowned artist Harry Clarke (1930). Another beautiful feature of the town heritage is its seven arch viaduct, built over the Black Oak River in 1892 to carry the Westport to Achill railway line.

Today Newport is a proud and vibrant community. As a founder member of the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies Steering Group, it has embraced the Dark Skies ethos and now has a thriving Astronomy Club, with regular observation sessions in and around the Dark Sky Park. Newport also hosted the first ever Mayo Dark Sky Festival in October 2016.

For more information contact Newport Tourist Office.

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