Chamber President Outlines Vision for Sligo at Annual Dinner

Des Faul SpeechCastle Dargan Hotel was full to capacity on Saturday 26th November for the Chamber’s Annual Gala Dinner, sponsored by Fastcom and anuview. Guests assembled in the foyer for a drinks reception prior to dinner sponsored by Diageo, Gleesons C & C, Richmond Drinks, The White Hag, and Hargadons Wines with entertainment provided by Sarah Crummy.
Following the meal, Chamber President Des Faul gave an inspiring Presidential Address highlighting the many successes in Sligo over the year, in particular the success of The Sligo Food Trail in putting our restaurants and world-class food offering on the national and international stage.  Des acknowledged next year, Sligo is the official European Capital of Volunteering 2017. In taking the baton from London, a year of special events beginning on January 27 with a spectacular opening ceremony, will serve to underline our culture in Sligo of helping others and authentic community engagement.  He extended a special word of welcome to the new President of IT Sligo, Dr. Brendan McCormack and acknowledged that we continue to have a strong supporter `– and driver — of establishing a Technological University in the North West of Ireland linking IT Sligo, GMIT and Letterkenny IT.
Des outlined his vision for Sligo 2026 as follows:

  • The completion of the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin and the opening up of the Western Distributor Road will help attract new FDI companies with facilities that will rival anywhere in the country.
  • The roll out of broadband across the town and county
  • The upgrade of IT Sligo to Technical University Status
  • A world class Yeats Experience with the facilities to match to attract a-year-round flood of visitors.
  • A better and faster train service

A key element of this vision is the Atlantic Economic Corridor.  Sligo Chamber and other Chambers of Commerce in the West of Ireland, representing 2,500 companies employing over 75,000 people, are striving to realise the latent opportunity that resides within our region, not to address the East West balance, but rather to ensure that the West of Ireland can reach its economic potential in the national interest.
Following the Presidential Address, Daniel Browne from Ocean Media, sponsors of the Business Person of the Year Award, made the presentation to Neil Connolly on behalf of Connolly Motor Group. In accepting the award, Neil made reference to the company’s commitment to Sligo and in particular the investment of €4m to open Mercedes Sales & Service outlet in Collooney with the creation of 20 new full time jobs with a further 5 jobs in 2017.  Connolly Motor Group currently employ 180 staff, 100 of which are employed in Sligo.
The runner up prize was won by Patricia Molloy from SF Engineering Patricia is Sales and Marketing Manager for SF Engineering which affords her responsibility for the positioning and promotion of the company both externally in its core markets and internally within the SF workforce.
The Guest of Honour was Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD. During her speech, the Minister praised the work of IDA and Enterprise Ireland and spoke of her vested interested in attracting more jobs to Sligo and indeed the whole north west
Following the speeches, guests were entertained by local band, Back Water Jack, with festivities going on until the early hours.