Ireland to Explore Possibility of Joining ESO

10 December 2015

On 8 December 2015, Ireland’s intention to negotiate ESO Membership was laid out by Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of Ireland, as he launched Innovation 2020, a five-year strategy for research and development, science and technology.

Innovation 2020 sets out a strategy for Ireland to become a global innovation leader, with a strong, sustainable economy and a better society. The document states Ireland’s intention to “explore membership options for CERN, the European organisation for high-energy physics, and the European Southern Observatory”.

Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will now enter into discussions with ESO and explore possible membership options for the country. Whilst these actions do not constitute a definite commitment to apply for ESO Membership, they represent an important first step in that direction, and ESO looks forward to the commencement of these discussions.

Paul Callanan, University College Cork, Ireland, explains the significance of this move: "We are delighted that the strategy document includes the recommendation that Ireland commence negotiations for ESO Membership. I believe this decision is due to a recognition of the potential of ESO Membership for Irish industry, especially in the context of the one billion euro E-ELT flagship programme. It also recognises the extensive community of astronomers in Ireland, who stand ready to benefit scientifically from ESO Membership and to gain access to the most powerful observatory on Earth."



Paul Callanan
University College Cork

Laura Comendador
Head, Cabinet of the Director General
Garching bei München, Germany

Richard Hook
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591

About the Announcement



Ireland to explore possibility of joining ESO
Ireland to explore possibility of joining ESO