The Dark Sky project is a significant undertaking by the Lough Gur group to secure International Dark Sky Association status for Lough Gur. But more important than being able to claim international status is the import task of preserving, not just the physical sites around Lough Gur, but the night skies overhead which has been available to man, woman and child at Lough Gur for over 6000 years. As such we have embarked on a scientific measurement of how dark our skies are throughout the year and making that information readily available to you our visitors to Lough Gur.
Protecting our Delicate Eco System
Lough Gur is home to an array of species from insects, to small mammals, fish, birds and bats. We are acutely aware that changes to our ecosystem will have a significant impact on our broad ecosystems. Equally lighting changes will have a direct impact on the insect population and in turn the fish and bats and so forth. As the grounds are managed by Limerick council we are also fortunate to have access and support of our park ranger.
Dark Skies are our Connection with a 6000 Years of History
While no-one fully understands the purpose of the great stone circle, we can only image how our 6000-year-old ancestors pondered on the night sky and how it impacted their belief systems and annual cycles of life. A culture which we believe had at it heart the seasonal movements of sun, moon and stars. We want future generations to be in a position to look up and appreciate those same skies, it’s one of our few links to the past
Spirit of Place
Visitors to Lough Gur are not only invited to enjoy its mystical presence but are invited to immerse themselves into human spirit and wellness. As part of our annual calendar, we run a “Spirit of Place” event promoting human wellness. Increasingly critical to our own well-being is understanding the impact of blue light & light pollution on the human body. There is scientific evidence that suggests that for our own wellbeing, humans can greatly benefit from managed lighting and dark spaces.
A Historical Treasure we are passing to the future
Dark Sky certification for Lough Gur is not a point in time exercise. Our Dark Skies have been observed by generations of people over 6000 years, We want to play our part to ensure the skies remain as an inspiration for others over the coming 6000 years. Lough Gur is fortunate to have the backing of Limerick Council and local community in building sustainable model for dark sky preservation
We invite you to explore our Dark Sky image above, clicking through to the various aspects of our Dark Sky project and related areas.
Lough Gur Science Group