President’s Blog – June 24, 2019 All Go!

Hello Members – What a busy week the past week has been for Sligo Chamber.

As your President, I see first-hand the work the Sligo Chamber Team puts in every week on behalf of you, the members.  We have had some particularly busy weeks this year, notably in February with the Chambers Ireland visit to the European Commission in Brussels and in early May with the visit to London for the Sligo/London Business Network Event.  And the week just past has also fitted into that category with all the Chamber Team active on many fronts over the course of the week.  Let me explain!

Monday morning started it off with myself and CEO Aidan Doyle attending the launch of the new Eir Customer Care Centre at Rathedmond.  We were given a guided tour of the new facility in the company of Eir CEO Carolan Lennon and Newstalk host Pat Kenny.  We met some of the newly recruited staff in their comfortable and spacious work space located across three floors in the recently refurbished building.  It is most impressive to actually see first-hand 260 new staff, all recruited since October, working collectively to deliver on the Eir core value as outlined by Carolan Lennon of making the customer experience a differentiator. The Pat Kenny Newstalk programme was broadcast live from the Eir facility that day and it was great to listen to the interview with Keith Moran MD of SL Controls, Paul Conneally of Live Tiles and Lucia Macari of Overstock, all Sligo based companies working in the tech sector.  From a Sligo Chamber perspective, it was wonderful to hear the panel talk of Sligo as being a hub of innovative companies developing a Tech North West Cluster and with amazing software designers working in an amazing environment.  They spoke of the magic of Sligo, a beautiful place where careers can be advanced while maintaining a work-life balance in a safe quality environment.  This echoes the positive message Sligo Chamber promotes for this region.  To hear that message delivered on national radio by member firms operating in the high-tech sector was truly uplifting.

Monday lunchtime and Aidan and myself moved on to the monthly meeting of the highly-influential Sligo Chamber Industrial Group.  Monday’s meeting had to be moved off site to our own offices at Jennings O’Donovan as the Chamber Skillnet under the direction of Geraldine Courtenay was using the Chamber Boardroom for the entire week to deliver a Lead Auditor training programme.

Thankfully, Geraldine allowed us the Chamber Boardroom from 8.00 am to 9.00 am on Tuesday morning for the monthly Chamber meeting.  Members will be interested to know that David Kiely, Past President and current Chair of the Industrial Group was voted in at the meeting as Company Secretary.  David takes over from Tony Wehrly and I would like to thank Tony for his work over the years as Company Secretary and for his sound advice, wisdom and guidance during his tenure.  Thank you Tony and we are delighted you are going to continue on the Chamber board.

It was then off to Dublin for me to attend a high-level meeting with the management of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in my role as Convenor of the Civil Committee of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland.  I took the opportunity as President of Sligo Chamber to thank TII and acknowledge their input into making the construction of the new Collooney to Castlebaldwin road a reality.  I also emphasized the importance of connectivity from Sligo to Dublin and that Sligo Chamber will continue to advocate for the N4 Mullingar to Rooskey upgrade and the Carrick-on-Shannon bypass.  In response, TII were in a position to advise that the tender for engineering services for the Mullingar to Rooskey upgrade would issue in early July and separately that the appointment of the successful contractor for the N4/N15 Hughes Bridge to Rosses Point Road junction upgrade would also be announced in July.

Meanwhile back in Sligo, CEO Aidan and Skillnet Manager Geraldine attended the launch of the IT Sligo Masters Programme at IT Sligo on Wednesday morning and were invited to present details of the funding opportunities available via Sligo Chamber Skillnet for the Suite of Masters Programmes which will be commencing in September 2019.  IT Sligo as part of their ambitions in becoming a Technological University are pro-active in the creation of master programmes which are relevant to the needs and requirement of organisations in the region.  If you are considering undertaking a Masters or any other training event you can contact Geraldine.

And then on to Friday and back to Dublin again, where the Sligo Chamber Team, Aidan, Geraldine, Mary, Past President Fiona and myself together with Storylab led by Ciaran Byrne and Martha Kearns attended the Public Relations Consultants Awards.  Held in the celebrious surroundings of the Dublin Mansion House, this was a glittering event gathering together the “who’s who” in public relations. The “Life is Sligo” mini-film received a Highly Commended Certificate for Excellence in Communications, a tremendous achievement for Storylab and for Sligo Chamber. A real positive to bring to a close another busy week for Sligo Chamber.

Life is for Living – #Life is Sligo.

Conor McCarthy

President Sligo Chamber