History Of Sligo Chamber

Sligo Chamber of Commerce & Industry was founded on 21st September 1923 with the purpose of developing existing business and attracting industry to Sligo.

The first President was H. Campbell-Perry who served until June 1935 when he was succeeded by Dudley M. Hanley, who served until January 1946, and then by Frank Nally, from January 1946 until February 1949. Substantial assistance was received from the Department of Industry and Commerce which led to the Chamber setting up the first post-war Tourist Development Association (March 1951) and in November 1951, the Sligo Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. An Industrial Development Committee had been set-up as early as May 1946. Great success attended the efforts of the Chamber, largely due to the work of the then Secretary Tommy Hamilton, F.C.A. and of course a hard-working Council. Secure foundations were laid for the Industrial Development of which we are so justly proud today.

In 1962/63, F.J. Wynne, who was an outstanding President, had the honour to be elected President of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland.

During the decade of the ’80s the ever-increasing complexity of the business environment and the ever-increasing bureaucratic encroachment on the conduct of business placed an intolerable burden on what was basically an amateur organisation. It was clearly perceived that the only Chambers which would survive into the ’90s and function effectively would be those which could afford to appoint a full-time Director.

During 1989 research initiated by Council Member Robert Rowlette led to the Chamber signing a contract with the EC to host a European Business Information Centre. The first meeting of the Council in the new premises at Quay Street was held on 24th of July 1990. The next move was logical and inescapable – the appointment of a full-time Director and Kevin McGoldrick commenced work on 2nd April 1991. By the purchase of an office building and the appointment of a full-time Director, Sligo Chamber of Commerce was saying, with a strong clear voice “We are ready to meet whatever challenge the future may bring; in particular the challenge presented by our country’s full participation in the new Europe”. Thus, as we move rapidly through the 21st century, it is appropriate to place on record the names of those who preceded us. As Newton said, “We stand upon the shoulders of giants”. Let us hope the next generation will say the same of us.