A Planetarium and an Observatory are two exciting, well advanced new developments planned for Mayo’s only National Park - whether it’s called Ballroy National Park or Wild Neiphin National Park or Wild Neiphin Ballycroy National Park.
Details of both projects were outlined to councillors at yesterday’s Westport/Belmullet Municipal District.
Councillors had invited representatives of the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) to their monthly meeting to hear their views on why Ballycroy National Park has been renamed Wild Neiphin National Park, in light of the frustration and disappointment locally over the change.
Denis Strong, Divisional Manager with the National Parks & Wildlife Service explained that the decision was taken to reflect the park’s location in a landscape rather than in a parish.
He explained that two-thirds of the park is now outside Ballycroy parish.
Nonetheless, he accepted that the name change was “not written in stone” and agreed to look at the decision further, given the strong views expressed by councillors.
While William Cormican Regional Manager with NPWS outlined the proposed new Planetarium and Observatory that are set to be located in the National Park which is within the same boundaries, as the internationally recognised Mayo Dark Skies Park. Planning permission is due to be sought for a new Planetarium at the Ballycroy Visitor Centre site next year, and a new Observatory in the Letterkeen area of the park.
Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley spoke to both men about the name change and the proposed developments, and Denis accepted that the name change of the national park was not written in stone and agreed to look at the decision further, given the strong views expressed by councillors at yesterday’s meeting.