I was very kindly asked to write this piece as I was Member of the Month for January 2018; this piece is long overdue as it is already April!

I am the NPoC for Ireland; the country where we hosted the European SGAC Christmas Party in 2017. During the day there were a series of talks about Ireland’s space sector, that was open to the public, and in the evening we had our space dinner, which included SGAC members, International Space University (ISU) alumni, and members of the Trinity Space Society. Since becoming NPoC for Ireland in summer 2016 I have really focused on organising events. I feel if there are more opportunities for the space sector to meet and more opportunities for the public to learn about space, exciting things can happen. However, organising events requires money, and as we all know it is up to the individual to find funding. Thus, I could not have organised any of these events without the support and funding from Inspire Space, a small Dublin non profit that sponsors Irish students to go to the ISU. Inspire Space kindly took on my ideas for space events and has amalgamated me into their ethos so that we can regularly organise space events. The first event was the Irish Space Christmas Party in 2016 and from then we have organised Yuri’s Night, talks from astronauts and astronaut candidates, not to mention multiple space movie nights. The next event is Yuri’s Night 2018–this year we are going bigger and making it a masquerade party. So if anyone is in Dublin on April 12th 2018 do come along!

Apart from events, I am actively trying to engage with the appropriate people within the Irish space sector to lobby and encourage Ireland to join the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, for Ireland to implement Irish space law, and finally, for Ireland to have its very own space agency. So far I have been featured in three news articles, so here is hoping for more in 2018! We are only a small island, but I know we have a lot of potential. We have approximately seventy companies and institutions engaged with the space sector and we will soon be launching the first Irish satellite into space: EIRSAT-1.

In terms of improvements, I know I have to take more steps in the future to encourage people to join SGAC and to be part of the Irish SGAC mailing list, as my focus thus far has been on promoting space in general and the Irish space sector in particular. By becoming Irish NPoC, it gave me the courage and some sort of social responsibility to do all of this. It means I know I am part of an organisation of like-minded people who have similar goals and I can feel that support. It really made everything possible!