I am Ronan Newman and for those who do not know me, I was involved with Galway Astronomy Club for many years. I would regard myself as a person who is passionate about Astronomy in all its forms and for astronomical outreach to the younger generation of future professional astronomers and scientists.
In 2003 we had a remarkably close approach of the Planet Mars that gained considerable enthusiasm for Astronomy around the country while then in 2009 we had the “International Year of Astronomy” that brought space and astronomy topics into focus in schools and colleges.
Astronomy in Ireland is the only STEM-type subject that relies solely on the weather to really bear fruit for its events, daytime and night. It's for that reason why I think there has been no National Week for Astronomy in Ireland up to now.
So, from the 20th to 26th of March 2023, the inaugural Irish Astronomy Week goes ahead with events taking place indoors and outdoors throughout the thirty-two counties. Also, during that week astronomers of all ages can enjoy a beautiful celestial waltz of the crescent Moon as it moves each evening past the bright planets Jupiter, Venus and Mars.
I have taken on the enormous task of trying to organise this event and I intend to make it happen, over 30 organisations have so far signed up to host an event, with more in planning. But this needs to be done in a coordinated fashion with planning and good branding to make it successful, not just for 2023 but for future years.
To do this I need sponsorship to help me approach a web design company to build a brand new website as well as a primary logo, so my appeal goes out to all the participants and other astronomers further afield to make this a permanent feature in the annual calender of events taking place in Ireland.
Any extra donations above the target will go towards website hosting, the ".ie" domain, a pull up banner, flyers and stationary for childrens workshops that will be happening nationwide. In the weeks following the Astronomy week I would ask all participating organisations to submit a questionnaire (that will be forwarded) to give a me some idea of numbers in relation to the amount of people that we have been engaged with. This will be useful when it comes to applying for future funding from Science Foundation Ireland.
Thank You, your help and support to this initiative is valued.