Launch of the five-year strategic plan for the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium – Armagh I

Members of the AOP Management Committee, Board of Governors and Leadership Team at Strategy Launch / Return – Canon David Hilliard, Eugene Rooney, Carol Corvan, Marc Sarzi, Roger Wilson, Leonard Knox, Sinead Mackle / Front – Archdeacon Elizabeth Cairns, John Briggs, Bishop John McDowell, Michael Burton, Stan Brown, Canon Joyce Moore.

Bishop John McDowell, President of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (PDO) The Board of Governors welcomed guests to the Planetarium to officially launch its ambitious new strategy 2021-2026.

In his opening address, Archbishop McDowell explained how impressed he has been since taking on the role of president in April 2020.

Commenting on the progress he has seen, he said: “I am impressed with the drive and enthusiasm of Professor Michael Burton and his team, as well as the breadth and ambition of the plan to ensure sustainability. and the long-term sustainability of PDO. It is exciting to know the valuable results that AOP can potentially produce in terms of economic, educational and community benefits.

“I truly believe that if AOP is able to harness the resources to work in conjunction with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​Borough Council in the co-development of the Armagh Leisure Village and Armagh Science and Education facilities, it will change the gives not only to the local community but to all of Northern Ireland.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I welcome the new five-year strategy of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) and its phased approach which is consistent with the Ministry’s common goal of supporting people; Building communities and shaping places.

“The recent transformation of its planetarium has made it an attractive and accessible visit destination for all, including the provision of a changing place. I also commend AOP for taking on the challenge of educating, informing and influencing the public on the important topic of climate change.

Professor Michael Burton and his management team reflected on how far AOP has come since the two organizations merged under a new management structure in 2016.

The guests were able to see for themselves the impact of the new investments on the experience of the visitors of the Planetarium and to hear the scale of the ambition and the enthusiasm of the team, which, collectively, is convinced that it can achieve great things with the support, investment and commitment of partners and donors.

Professor Burton concluded the event by giving guests a preview of a new planetarium show, “Our Place in the Cosmos,” created in-house with support from Southern Regional College on music and sound production. The show was specially created for COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow in November and will be presented twice daily in the Green Zone event and in the Glasgow Science Planetarium exhibition space. Center during the event.

Introducing the show, Professor Burton told guests: “We are extremely proud to represent Northern Ireland and our work here in Armagh on a global scale. COP26 is an extremely important event, with the ears and eyes of the whole world.

“Having the ability to talk about space and demonstrate the uniqueness of Earth and illustrate how current research can inform decisions in the future. The presentation I created clearly demonstrates what we know about our planet but also asks questions for future discoveries.

“Our planet is fascinating! COP26 and our new strategy show how we will continue to highlight the importance of science and space discoveries to protect our planet for future generations. “

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Arline J. Mercier

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