President’s Blog – July 29, 2019 – Meeting and Greeting

Hello Members – Last week was particularly active for the Chamber Team with various activities ongoing across the course of the week.  It is important for the Chamber to maintain a profile at events in Sligo and last week I was pleased to have the support of the Team to represent the Chamber.  Wearing a different hat, I was committed to being in Dublin on Wednesday and Thursday through my role on the Executive Board of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland where I was taking the lead in the preparation of a Submission to Government on Budget 2020.

Monday saw CEO Aidan attend the launch in the North West of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund Call 3.  Led by Enterprise Ireland, funding from the Scheme is intended to support new collaborative and innovative initiatives to make an impact on enterprise development.  The objective of the Scheme is to drive development and job creation in regions such as the North West.  This objective aligns with the aims of Sligo Chamber and hence the importance of CEO Aidan to be present at the launch which was also attended by our partners IT Sligo and Sligo County Council led by Chief Executive Ciaran Hayes.  There is €45 million available in funding through the scheme which has a closing date for applications of September 25, 2019.

Another important partner of Sligo Chamber is Sligo Tidy Towns.  This passionate group of volunteers play a key role in Sligo Tourism through their unselfish efforts and dedication to keep Sligo tidy, clean and looking well.  On Wednesday afternoon, Sligo Tidy Towns together with Sligo County Council held a projects’ launch in Sligo Old Cemetery.  A range of improvement projects have been carried out in the cemetery including resurfacing and landscaping as well as the restoration of the 170 year-old wrought iron gates and railings.  Speakers included Cathaoirleach, Councillor Tom MacSharry, Chief Executive, Ciaran Hayes and Sligo Tidy Towns Chairman, Peter Tiernan.  There then followed a Blessing of the cemetery by the leaders of our four main churches. Past President, Des Faul, attended to represent Sligo Chamber.

The Sligo Yeats International Summer School opened on Thursday and will run until next Friday, August 2nd.  Now in what is its Sixtieth Year, this School is another key tourism pillar for Sligo.  There are a host of events over the nine-day school programme including poetry on the streets and what sticks out for me, poetry in Sixty cafes, bars and shops to celebrate “Yeats Sixty in Sixty”.  CEO Aidan together with Skillnet Manager Geraldine Courtenay attended the Official Opening at City Hall on Thursday afternoon.  Following on from the official opening, Events Manager, Mary Harty, represented the Chamber on Thursday evening at the Yeats Dinner Reception in the Sligo Park Hotel.  Thursday was a very busy day.  In the morning CEO Aidan attended the first Sligo County Council LCDC meeting of the new term following the local elections.  Then in the afternoon Aidan greeted the Georgian Ambassador to Ireland, George Zurabashvili, who was visiting Sligo on a fact-finding mission and seeking to promote Georgia as a tourist destination. The Ambassador also informed Aidan that their largest export was wine!

Returning to Sligo on Friday, I attended the Tech North West Launch held in Andersons Grill Bar.  The Tech North West is a cluster grouping of 12 tech companies already employing over 400 people that is committed to promoting working and studying in information and communication technologies, more commonly known as ICT.  The group seeks to bring together tech companies, start-ups, educators and innovators with a common objective to promote collaboration throughout the tech sector in the region together with local education and training bodies.  Building on a theme of living locally, working globally, they are keen to promote Sligo as a region that is open for business. They recognise the quality of life Sligo and the North West offers and portrayed that successfully through a three minute video prepared specifically for the launch. They believe quality of life to be a great selling point for a location in which to establish a tech-based region where exciting careers can be built while developing cutting-edge technology.  Again, a message that aligns with the aims and objectives of Sligo Chamber.

Next Monday is a Bank Holiday, so the Blog will return again the following Monday August 12.

Hoping you, our members and your families have an enjoyable August holiday weekend.

Until next time

Life is for Living – #Life is Sligo.


Conor McCarthy

President Sligo Chamber