President’s Blog – July 1, 2019 – Sunshine, Surf and Smiles in Sligo

Hello Members –As has been written previously in the Blog, Tourism is a key pillar in the overall Sligo Chamber Vision and it is our aim that by 2040, Sligo and the North West will attract 2 million visitors annually to the region’s phenomenal array of adventure, culture and food experiences.  And is there any better way to showcase the Sligo experience than over the past week where temperatures soared to the mid-twenties Celsius by day under clear blue skies and the light extended late into the night as we passed mid-Summer’s Night and reached the end of June, the mid-point of the year.

Lines of cars drove in and out the roads to Strandhill and Rosses Point ferrying day trippers to the cooler breezes by the coastlines.  Car parking spaces were at a premium in Rosses Point where locals and tourists alike made for the open spaces of the sandy First and Second Beaches.  The crowds remained well into the evenings as the day trippers continued to enjoy the cool sea, sharing the water with the more seasoned open-sea swimmers making their final preparations for the Warrior of the Sea Swim on Saturday from Rosses Point to Strandhill crossing the stunningly scenic Coney Island.  Meanwhile further out in the Rosses Point waters, the white and red sailed Mirrors and GP14s scrambled for places in their weekly race in clear blue waters under the open skies.

The strong aroma of sausages and burgers from barbeques along the beach carried on the breeze, bringing with it pangs of hunger and tinges of envy.  Lines formed at the ice-cream vans at the designated stands in the car park area as impatient children waited for their sunburnt and windswept parents to supply the long-cherished 99s.

Returning along the prom on the way back towards Sligo, the local Rosses Point hostelries were busy with early evening customers, happily sitting outside, quenching their thirst and their hunger following the long day in the sun.  Young adults lay on the freshly-cut open green space, listening to music on boom boxes while others choose the shade, sheltering under the extended leaves and branches of the big tree outside the local shop where here again, ice-cream seemed the order of the day.  The Rosses Point to Sligo bus passed, heading into town with the “Sorry, But Full” sign in full display to the obvious disappointment of potential travellers seeking to make their way home.

Meanwhile, for those who did make it to Sligo or for those already there, outdoor tables and chairs were placed outside restaurants overlooking the river where again locals and tourists could be seen outdoors enjoying early-evening refreshments and food.  Northern accents could be clearly distinguished among the revellers with this being the annual Northern two-week holiday period coinciding with the twelfth of July.  Further up the river along Doorly Park, walkers could be found, some meandering slowly, others at speed, all with the flowing waters of the River Garavogue as a backdrop to accompany them on their journey.  Some stopped to look at the newly-finished pontoon at Doorly Park, where from next week and for the months of July and August, the Boat Tours of Lough Gill will depart and return.

Yes, what a difference the weather makes, sunshine, surf, smiles on people’s faces; a wonderful week to enjoy and share the Sligo experience.

Until next time.

Life is for Living – #Life is Sligo.

Conor McCarthy

President Sligo Chamber