Press Release: Dark Sky Ireland awarded funding from Community Foundation Ireland

Dark Sky Ireland awarded funding from Community Foundation Ireland

Dark Sky Ireland is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a €10,000 grant from the Community Foundation Ireland to support its mission of restoring and protecting Ireland’s dark skies.

This funding will enable Dark Sky Ireland to take part in a number of initiatives, aimed at combating light pollution as well as raising public awareness of what the organization does.
Ireland is experiencing a concerning loss of natural night skies, with fewer than 50% of the population able to view the Milky Way from their homes due to the pervasive growth of anthropogenic light pollution. In urban areas, excessive artificial light not only disrupts the natural environment but also adversely affects the well-being and health of residents, particularly those in inner-city areas.

Welcoming the funding, Prof. Brian Espey, Chairman of Dark Sky Ireland an Associate Professor of Astrophysics in Trinity College Dublin said:, “This grant further supports the work that Dark Sky Ireland does in preserving our natural environment, through combating light pollution and protecting our dark skies.”

  • The grant will be used for the following:
    Influencing Policy and Legislation: Dark Sky Ireland aims to establish itself as a reputable authority on reducing light pollution, offering expertise and guidance to inform and support authorities and professional organizations. The organization will advocate for national legislation on light pollution, addressing the current absence of legal mandates at the national level.
  • Increasing Public Awareness: Through educational programs, Dark Sky Ireland will raise awareness about the critical importance of protecting and restoring dark skies and the nocturnal environment across the entire island of Ireland. Communities will be equipped with tools and information to effectively address light pollution.
  • Developing Partnerships and Capacity: Dark Sky Ireland plans to cultivate partnerships and expand its membership base while strengthening its organizational structure with additional staff and resources.

The continued partnership with Leave No Trace Ireland  has enhanced the efficiency of Dark Sky Ireland, providing vital operational support, including staffing, administration, and communications assistance.

Dark Sky Ireland is gearing up for a series of events during Heritage Week in May – the theme is  ‘Connections, Routes & Networks’, these events will explore the night sky’s role as a navigational tool throughout history and its relevance in the present day, encouraging public engagement and education on the importance of dark skies. The events will be designed to foster a deeper understanding of the natural world and our place within it, using the stars as a guide to explore historical routes and networks that have shaped our understanding of the universe. Participants can expect a blend of educational talks, practical workshops, and immersive experiences, all aimed at highlighting the enduring connections between the past and the present, and the vast networks that exist within the cosmos.

Further information for editors
Community Foundation Ireland and its donors share a mission of fostering equality in thriving communities. Together with 5,000 voluntary, community, and charitable partners, Community Foundation Ireland serves as a philanthropic hub for Ireland, providing knowledge, expertise, and information to ensure effective and strategic giving.

Dark Sky Ireland’s vision is to ensure Ireland’s nightscapes are celebrated, restored and protected for present and future generations of all living things. It aims to do this by empowering custodians and ambassadors to recognise and protect Ireland’s night sky as a natural habitat and a shared heritage.

Leave No Trace Ireland is Ireland’s only outdoor ethics programme, which promotes the responsible use of the outdoors. Through education, research and partnerships, Leave No Trace Ireland enables and supports individuals, communities, organisations, and companies in reducing the environmental impact of outdoor activities.