Become a Mayo Dark Sky Champion 2022

    Dark Sky Champions Event Poster

    Dark Sky Champion Workshops

    For Tourism and Hospitality Trade in Mayo

    Supported by Failte Ireland in partnership with Mayo Dark Sky Park and Blackrock Castle Observatory

    Mayo is home to Ireland's only Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park.With easy access sites from the Clew Bay and the Wild Atlantic Way, this visitor attraction has caught the imagination of an international audience and since its accreditation in 2016 has developed a growing interest from the dark sky tourism (astrotourism) market.The future is "bright" as plans are underway for the development of a world class planetarium and observatory within Mayo Dark Sky Park (covering the expanse of Wild Nephin National Park).  

    Most of the visitors to our region are coming during the peak tourist season of March to September but the best time for visitors to experience Mayo Dark Sky Park is generally during the off-season. This offers an extension to the tourism season for local businesses and new opportunities in sustainable tourism.Year on year we are getting more and more visitors enquiring about the best time to see our wonderfully dark skies.

    Astronomers from MTU's Blackrock Castle Observatory will be in Westport and Ballycroy to provide two half day workshops on 1st and 2nd March to tourism and hospitality businesses in the area.

    The workshops will include a basic introduction to stargazing and resources for tourism partners so those in the trade know what the Dark Sky Park is and what visitors can expect to see.The workshop is designed to build confidence amongst participants who have to deal with the general public, but who themselves are not experts in the night sky. The workshops will also discuss innovations in dark sky tourism and foster new ideas for businesses to get involved in the dark sky initiative. See Application form below (Download File).

    File Name: Download Dark Sky Champion - APPLICATION FORM (PDF) 
    File Size: 287 kb
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    Training Workshop Options: 

    Tuesday 1st March from 2pm – Ballycroy Community Centre, Ballycroy Village,

    Wednesday 2nd March from 10am – Westport Cinema, Westport

    The workshop aims to produce Dark Sky Champions who can encourage visitors to come back in the evening (or in winter months) and therefore to stay longer in the area (returning to the area during off peak to experience the best of the dark skies).

    A Dark Sky Champion certificate will be provided to all participants and all businesses will be required to sign up to the Mayo Dark Sky Charter in order to qualify for places on this free training workshop.

    Women in Dark Skies
    Women in Dark Skies

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    Welcome to Mayo Dark Sky Park. Mayo is now home to Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park, showcasing some of the darkest, most pristine skies in the world.

    Where the darkest skies reveal the brightest stars.


    Wild Nephin National Park,
    Ballycroy Visitor Centre,
    National Parks & Wildlife Service,
    Ballycroy Village,
    Co. Mayo
    +353 (0)98 49 888