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Dark Sky Ireland and Mayo Dark Skies – Successful International Conference Bid

Friends of Mayo Dark Skies and Dark Sky Ireland to jointly host a multidisciplinary international conference on artificial light at night and its impact on biodiversity, culture science and human wellbeing.

28-30th October 2025 (immediately preceding the Mayo Dark Sky Festival)

The artificial light at night (ALAN) conference is dedicated to examining all aspects of artificial light at night, from light production to the consequences of excessive light on our natural world, including on human health and the environment.

The awarding of the multidisciplinary conference was announced at this year’s meeting which took place in Calgary, Canada recently, attended by an international audience of delegates.

ALAN 2025 will be held in Westport from 28th to 30th October and will be jointly organised by the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies and Dark Sky Ireland. The dates immediately precede Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2025, so visitors will have an option to stay longer in the region to experience Mayo Dark Sky Park at Wild Nephin National Park and enjoy further off-season dark sky events.

The ALAN 2025 conference will be open to a diverse international audience including academics, architects, astronomers, community groups, conservationists, dark sky advocates, ecologists, engineers, lighting experts, planners, policy makers, scientists, students and more (!) to discuss the challenges and explore the solutions to light pollution and the implementation of best practices for dark sky friendly lighting.

Prof. Brian Espey, Chair of Dark Sky Ireland said “Our committee worked hard to deliver a successful bid for this international conference and we are delighted with the news that we will be bringing it to Westport, Mayo in 2025. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Galway Convention Bureau team for their assistance in bid preparation. We all look forward to welcoming international delegates in 2025.”

Preparations are already underway to host the 2025 event which will showcase Mayo’s dark skies and provide an opportunity for new communities to reconsider and improve lighting practices across the county. “We are working with Mayo County Council on a policy to tackle light pollution which is a very welcome step to reduce emissions and improve the natural night-time environment” said Georgia MacMillan, Mayo Dark Sky Park Development Officer.

More information will be available soon, but make a note in the diary for this exciting international conference coming to Ireland 28-30 October 2025.

We are delighted to read this as we are working on the Dark Sky Ecotourism Project, this is an innovative vocational education project which is exploring the dark skies combined with ecotourism, a powerful combination for sustainable rural tourism. You can find out more here.

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