PRESS RELEASE: Restoring Ireland’s Dark Skies

SATURDAY, 9TH OF JULY, 2022: Dark Sky Ireland has some exciting news to share in relation to its strategic development as a non-governmental organisation.

Recent funding from the Heritage Council has played a vital role in assisting Dark Sky Ireland in the commencement of developing their Vision, Mission and Values through various consultative workshops involving a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties. This work is mediated by non-profit consultancy 2into3, a consultancy which works with mission-driven organisations to build their capacity.

The project is also providing Dark Sky Ireland with an opportunity to build their operational and communications capacity and we are partnering with Leave No Trace Ireland in the appointment of a dedicated project coordinator, Clare Masterson, who will work for the duration of this project.  Ms. Masterson has extensive experience in both customer services and the tourism sector, as well as credentials as a Leave No Trace Trainer and Mayo Dark Sky Park Ambassador. This appointment is important for advancing Dark Sky Ireland’s goal of raising awareness of light pollution in Ireland and the promotion of responsible lighting practises through education and outreach.  It also assists us in the development of a national policy and strategy in the absence of official legislation.

Clare Masterson, Dark Sky Ireland Project Coordinator

Prof. Brian Epsey, Chairman of the Dark Sky Ireland Committee and an Associate Professor of Astrophysics in Trinity College Dublin, welcomed the funding:

“We wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Heritage Council has provided us in funding these projects. Our goal is to produce Dark Sky Ireland’s strategic plan for the future so that the organisation can have a transformative impact on society in Ireland.”

The project partners, Leave No Trace Ireland, are an environmental non-profit organisation, promoting responsible outdoor recreation. Through education, partnerships and awareness campaigns, Leave No Trace Ireland’s objective is to reduce negative impacts to the environment caused by increased outdoor recreation in Ireland.

Maura Kiely, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, welcomed the partnership and the opportunity to develop synergy between Dark Sky Ireland and the Leave No Trace principles: “Our organisations have many shared values, in terms of the conservation of nature and the impact of human activity in the outdoors. This partnership provides a unique opportunity to create a collaborative strategy about how people can enjoy and respect the beauty of the outdoors at night.”

Dark Sky Ireland are in the process of planning some exciting events for Heritage Week, which takes place this year from August 13th – 22nd. These events will take place both online and in person, with announcements to be released on and on the Dark Sky Ireland social media channels.