Mayo's Dark Sky communities
The communities of Newport, Mulranny and Ballycroy are situated in West Mayo, bordering the 15000 hectares of Mayo International Dark Sky Park, the first accredited Dark Sky Park in Ireland.
Newport (Baile Uí Fhiacháin) is a small picturesque town, which nestles on the northern shores of Clew Bay, famous for its 365 Islands. Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, it is a gateway to Mulranny, Achill, Nephin and Ballycroy and only 18 km west of Castlebar, the county town of County Mayo, and 11 km from Westport. The town has a variety of accommodation for visitors from hotels and B&Bs to hostels with a variety of places to eat and activities on offer.
Newport was founded in the early 1700’s, and has several prominent architectural features such as St. Patrick's Catholic Church (completed 1918) constructed in the Irish Romanesque style by Rudolph M Butler. Its beautiful stained glass east window (“The Last Judgment”) is the last one completed by renowned artist Harry Clarke (1930). Another beautiful feature of the town heritage is its seven arch viaduct, built in over the Black Oak River in 1892 to carry the Westport to Achill railway line.
Today Newport is a proud and vibrant community. As a founder member of the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies Steering Group, it has embraced the Dark Skies ethos and now has a thriving Astronomy Club, with regular observation sessions in and around the Dark Sky Park. Newport also hosted the first ever Mayo Dark Sky Festival in October 2016.
In 2022, Newport launched its Dark Sky Master Lighting Plan, with the first phase to be comlpleted by the end of October 2022, helping it to become the first Dark Sky Friendly Town in Ireland.
For more information contact Newport Tourist Office via our website www.newportmayo.ie