President’s Blog – July 15, 2019 – Improving the Chamber Offering

Hello Members –In this week’s Blog, we highlight some of the recent activities that have been ongoing in Sligo Chamber across the members of the Chamber Team.

Under the astute management of our Skillnet Manager, Geraldine Courtenay, provision of training continues to be a primary focus for Sligo Chamber.  Funding for our training programme is through Skillnet Ireland and allocations are made on an annual basis.  This year, there was a supplementary call mid-year from Skillnet Ireland for applications for additional funding.   Based on the subject theme of our training proposal and the quality of our submission, Sligo Chamber received the third-highest funding application in the country in this mid-year supplementary call.  Immense credit is due to Geraldine and CEO Aidan for their choice of subject theme backed up by the quality of their submission.   This additional funding allows Sligo Chamber provide an increased range of training to our member firms over the second half of the year.  And Geraldine has asked me through the Blog to remind member firms to make contact with her in relation to their specific training needs which, through Geraldine, Sligo Chamber will provide support if at all possible.  In particular, for those member firms who may be interested in, or have staff members interested in the IT Sligo Masters in Leadership starting in September, please contact Geraldine.  Readers of the Blog may recall the Masters in Leadership was launched at the Sligo Chamber Breakfast Event featuring the Caroline Currid Masterclass at the Clayton Hotel in May.

Continuing our ongoing theme of connectivity, in this case improving connectivity for you our members, we are pleased to advise that development of a new information portal collating activities, indoor and outdoor is at an advanced stage. Development of the portal is being undertaken by Eamon McGauran, Lorraine Gribbons and Fiona Candon, members of the Sligo Chamber Industrial Group.  When completed the portal will provide at a single source a schedule of the range of activities that are available within a twenty minute drive of Sligo.  This will include indoor activities such as speech and drama, various dancing forms, basketball, yoga, fitness classes, swimming, and outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, surfing, supping, walking, hiking, running and open water swimming.  The driver behind developing this portal arose through requests from member firms to be able to showcase to prospective employees the range of activities in Sligo when recruiting new staff.  Thanks to Eamon, Lorraine and Fiona for their hard work over the past two months in compiling the data for the portal.  All going well, it is planned to launch the new website in August.

On Sunday, as President of Sligo Chamber, I attended the National Day of Commemoration Ceremony at City Hall, Sligo.  This event commemorates all Irish men and women who died in wars or on United Nations service.  Each year, the ceremony takes place on the Sunday nearest July 11, that date being the anniversary date of the signing of the truce in 1921 ending the Irish War of Independence.  The Sligo event was a poignant ceremony held in the presence of the newly-elected Cathaoirleach, Councillor Tom MacSharry, and centred around military and religious participation. Words cannot really describe the beauty of the ceremony held under clear blue skies against the iconic backdrop of the sandstone City Hall and among the leafy green trees and floral arrangements that front the building.  The quietly spoken words of the leaders of Sligo’s Christian churches, Fr. Pat Lombard, Reverend David Clarke, Dean Arfon Williams and Reverend Alan Mitchell commemorating in worship those Irish men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Words complemented by the solemn strands of music and at times haunting notes of soloist Olivia O’Hanlon accompanied by Donal Gray.  It was a moving experience and a privilege to have been there on behalf of Sligo Chamber. 

So that’s it for another week.

Until next time.

Life is for Living – #Life is Sligo.

Conor McCarthy

President Sligo Chamber