Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (758)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

758. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the designation of a considerable part of south Kerry as an International Dark Sky Reserve; if he will assist with the marketing of this exciting development, which is also on the Wild Atlantic Way; if he will visit the area, preferably at night time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5304/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I am, of course, aware that the International Dark-Sky Association recently declared almost 270 square miles of the Iveragh peninsula as the first International Dark Sky Place in Ireland. The Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, which has been strongly supported by Failte Ireland and Kerry County Council, is the first Gold-tier Dark Sky Reserve in the northern hemisphere and among the darkest places in Europe. I should be happy to accept the Deputy's invitation to go star-gazing in South Kerry though perhaps when it is less cloudy.

The State tourism agencies are responsible for conducting marketing campaigns and I am happy to confirm that viewing the exceptional sky-scapes from the new Dark Sky Reserve will be included as an important experience on the Wild Atlantic Way by Failte Ireland and marketed internationally by Tourism Ireland.