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Press Release:

Heritage Council Funding for Dark Sky Ireland’s Organisational Capacity


Dark Sky Ireland is thrilled to announce it has strengthened Organisational Capacity for 2024 following asuccessful application for funding to the Heritage Council, under the Heritage Organisations Support Fund. This funding will bolster the organisation’s efforts to combat light pollution and protect Ireland’s dark skies. The grant comes at a pivotal moment, as Dark Sky Ireland prepares to amplify its efforts to collaborate with both local and national government bodies to strive for an effective policy on Light Pollution in Ireland. This aims to strike a balance between the needs of modern society and the preservation of the night sky for future generations.

Welcoming the Heritage Council Organisation Support Fund, Prof. Brian Espey, Chairman of Dark Sky Ireland and an Associate Professor of Astrophysics in Trinity College Dublin said:

“Amongst other things, this vital funding from The Heritage Council, will assist Dark Sky Ireland to host an event in Dublin which will bring Irish policymakers and stakeholders together to promote the critical need for light pollution legislation in Ireland. There are several government departments who are currently, in one form or another, support the dark sky philosophy, but there is no legislation to protect the environment, other than individual local authority initiatives.  Outlining research and the work currently being done, particularly with reference to the topics of biodiversity, health and social justice, as well as developments elsewhere in Europe will hopefully assist policymakers in understanding the urgent need for effective legislation.

Additionally, Dark Sky Ireland is gearing up to host the International Conference ALAN (Artificial Light At Night) in Westport in October 2025 with over 200 attendees expected. ALAN2025 is significant for the international community as it provides a platform for scientists, policymakers, lighting professionals and activists to discuss the global issue of light pollution and its solutions. The conference will showcase international efforts in dark sky preservation and the latest research in light pollution mitigation. The Heritage Council Organisation’s Support Fund will assist Dark Sky Ireland to reach their conference goals of raising awareness about the issue of ALAN, promoting research collaborations on light pollution and inspiring the development of innovative solutions to protect and restore nightscapes.

A continued partnership with Leave No Trace Ireland will strategically enhance the operational efficiency of Dark Sky Ireland, as this third year in collaboration will see Leave No Trace Ireland providing vital operational support, including staffing, administration, and communications assistance. Together, the two organisations will leverage their shared environmental conservation goals to create impactful educational programs and events.

Leave No Trace Ireland will also assist Dark Sky Ireland as it gears up for a series of events during Heritage Week. With a theme for 2024 of ‘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.

Maura Kiely, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, has expressed her delight over Dark Sky Ireland’s recent achievement in securing funding from the Heritage Council’s Organisation Support Fund. This success is a testament to Dark Sky Ireland’s dedication to preserving the natural heritage of the country, a cause that aligns closely with the mission of Leave No Trace Ireland. As Leave No Trace Ireland and Dark Sky Ireland continue their journey together, they look forward to new opportunities to educate the public, engage in policy discussions, and inspire action towards a more sustainable future. We are excited to see what the future holds for Dark Sky Ireland, and we are proud to walk alongside them as they lead the way in dark sky conservation.

For further information on Dark Sky Ireland events, visit: Dark Sky Ireland Events

Notes to Editors:

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.