President’s Blog – Delivering for Sligo

Sligo Chamber 2020 Election Manifesto – Delivering for Sligo

Hello Members – As you are all aware, the 32nd Dáil was dissolved last Tuesday by President Michael D. Higgins.  A general election has been called for Saturday, February 8th with the 33rd Dáil due to convene for the first time on Thursday, February 20th.

One of the primary roles of Sligo Chamber is to advocate for the best interests of its member firms and for Sligo.  Advocating or lobbying, be it for better infrastructure, new jobs, new skills or for a say in future policy is what the Sligo Chamber does throughout the year on behalf of our member firms.

The calling of the general election affords Sligo Chamber the opportunity to reinforce our vision and messaging.  The following is our vision and the Sligo Chamber key priorities which we intend to put before the candidates for the Sligo Leitrim constituency.

Sligo Chamber Vision

Sligo Chamber is the representative body of over 300 businesses employing over 7,000 people. The Sligo Chamber vision is that by the year 2040, Sligo will be a major regional centre in Ireland serving a population of 400,000 and driving regional and rural growth.  We have a vision where Sligo will be the central hub of a region that is fully sustainable and where our children can live, work and thrive in a safe environment, an environment that is community lead and offers real quality of life.

Sligo Chamber is making a meaningful difference for businesses in Sligo and for their staff in attracting inward investment and creating an environment where businesses can grow and develop.  Working collaboratively with our partners, the IDA, Sligo County Council, IT Sligo, the Western Development Commission and the Atlantic Economic Corridor, we are delivering balanced regional growth.

Since obtaining Growth Centre status in the 2040 National Planning Framework, over 1,800 new jobs have been announced for Sligo.  As we transition to the Smart Economy, there are the jobs of the future, high-end jobs in pharma, medtech, automation, engineering and in the tech sector.  Created by local indigenous Sligo companies, as well as multinationals, these are jobs that offer opportunities for career development and progression.

This past year has also seen construction commence on major infrastructural projects, all of which support Sligo’s growth.  There is real momentum surrounding Sligo now.  To build on this momentum, the following are the Sligo Chamber key priorities for delivery by the new Government:

Sligo Chamber Key Priorities

  • Improved connectivity to Sligo through an upgrade of:
  • N4 from Mullingar to Rooskey and Carrick-on-Shannon by-pass.
  • N17 Cooloney to Ireland West Airport.
  • Increase in frequency of Sligo/Dublin train service at peak periods, provision of additional rolling stock and car parking.
  • The establishment, through EU Policy, of a TEN-T corridor along the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) route extending from Donegal through Sligo to Kerry to deliver on the following priorities:-
  • Facilitating the promotion of Sligo with our new Designation of Growth Centre Status by providing connectivity south to Galway and beyond, and North to Letterkenny.
  • Road/Rail/ Freight connectivity along the Corridor
  • Use of the Corridor for interconnectivity of Energy and Telecommunications
  • The connection from the Corridor for freight to the Ports of Foynes, Ringaskiddy, Killybegs and Sligo
  • Increase in housing stock required to service new jobs creation through:-
    • Extension of Living Cities Initiative (LCI) to Sligo.
    • Continued development of Local Authority Housing.
    • Provision of infrastructure and policies supportive to Private Sector housing development.
  • Continued promotion of Education and Industry- led Upskilling for the workforce through:-
  • Delivering Technological University status in 2020 for IT Sligo.
  • Continued funding for Skillnet Programmes to deliver multi-sectoral learning.
  • Continued support of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly to maximise its full potential to secure funding for the development of Sligo as a Growth Centre.
  • Provision of funding to support the development of a Local Gas Network for Sligo.
  • Prioritise “Think Small First” principle across all new regulations so that red tape for SMEs is minimised.

So those are the key priorities that the Sligo Chamber Team advocating on behalf of you, our member firms, will present to prospective Dáil candidates over the course of the next three weeks.


That’s it for now.

Until next time.


Life is for Living – #Life is Sligo.

Conor McCarthy

President Sligo Chamber