County Manager outlines Economic Vision for Sligo at Sligo Chamber Lunch

Catriona Walsh with County Manager Ciaran Hayes
Pictured following the event: Catriona Walsh President Sligo Chamber, Ciarán Hayes Sligo County Manager Photo: SligoToday,ie
Sligo’s County Manager, Mr Ciarán Hayes outlined his economic vision for Sligo at Sligo Chamber’s lunch held in the Glasshouse Hotel on Thursday 6th March. Speaking to a packed audience of over 100 guests, Mr Hayes questioned whether “Suffocating Negativity” that had hampered Sligo’s economic development in the past and if so, he questioned how Sligo was going to change it.
Introducing the County Manager, Ms Catriona Walsh, the newly elected president of Sligo Chamber in her inaugural address, emphasised the Chamber’s core remit which is to “Help Sligo Grow” and restated the Chamber’s desire to see Sligo nationally recognised as a model of public/private collaboration. “Collaboration is a multi-way street. Responsibility resides on all sides to interact in a positive, honest and engaging manner towards the delivery of a shared goal of economic development. Sligo Chamber will not be found wanting in meeting its responsibilities in this regard”, said Ms Walsh. She went on to say that “Representing over 300 businesses employing in excess of 5,000 people, Sligo Chamber is the largest Business Representative Association in the North West of Ireland and its members, representing foreign and indigenous industry, tourism, professional services and retail, will drive the economic development of our County and our Region”.
Throughout a very well received presentation, the County Manager outlined his own personal background, his background in economic development in Galway City and the challenges and opportunities facing Sligo as an economic driver for the North West of Ireland. He offered a view that Sligo had suffered from a perception of “Suffocating Negativity” which did not match his experience on the ground of a community who take great pride in their “sense of place” or in the many community and voluntary initiatives aimed at developing the County.
Addressing the theme of economic development, Mr Hayes outlined his objective to position Sligo County Council as an economic development facilitator through:

  1. Appropriate Development Plans and policies.
  2. Dealing with access issues into the City and County.
  3. Providing and working with agencies to ensure provision of appropriate infrastructure.
  4. Reducing the burden on Ratepayers.
  5. Facilitating a vibrant Arts and Culture sector.
  6. Managing the Sligo environment and developing its tourist potential.

Concluding his presentation, Mr Hayes offered a vision for Co Sligo as “a pro-active and progressive City and County with an entrepreneurial culture and Top-tier tourist destination that maximises its’ potential for its’ citizens and visitors”.
 In thanking the County Manager for his presentation, Paul Keyes, CEO of Sligo Chamber offered the view that the Co Manager’s and the Chamber’s goals on economic development were indelibly aligned and that the Chamber looked forward towards further engagement with the County Council and other interested bodies in “Helping Sligo Grow”.