The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Seamus Kilgannon has urged the people of County Sligo to reward the many ‘unsung heroes’ who carry out invaluable voluntary work in their local communities.
The Cathaoirleach’s Awards Scheme was devised to reward the many people who have given special service to their community, and Councillor Kilgannon has formed a committee to administer the 2008 scheme and to examine the nominations
in the various award categories.
Joining Councillor Kilgannon on the committee are:Councillor Martin Baker, Councillor Mary Barrett, Councillor Veronica Cawley, Councillor Imelda Henry, Councillor Jerry Lundy, Fergus MacNabb, Senior Executive Officer, Sligo County Council.
The scheme has proved very popular in recent years, and the Awards ceremony in County Hall has been very well attended. One feature of the scheme is that every person nominated for an award is presented with a special commemorative scroll at the ceremony.
The award categories are: Arts, Community, Environment and Heritage, Schools, Sports. A new feature introduced into the 2008 Scheme is the extension of the ‘Community’ category to include an individual award and an award for groups and associations. The Cathaoirleach noted that ‘The award categories encompass a wide area of voluntary activity, and I feel that there are many people throughout county Sligo who are fully deserving of an award. I would encourage people who hold someone in the community in high regard, to take ten minutes to complete a form and nominate them for an award.
The closing date for receipt of nominations is Friday 4th April 2008 and the Awards ceremony will be held in County Hall on
Friday 23rd May 2008.
Nomination forms and scheme details are available from: The Communications Office, Sligo County Council, Phone: 071 9111016 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms are also available on-line from the Council’s website at www.sligococo.ie
The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Seamus Kilgannon has honoured Tom Higgins with a reception at County Hall. The reception was attended by the President of Tennis Ireland, Lynn Jamison and the President of the Sligo Tennis Club, Edel McDermott.
In his address, the Cathaoirleach commended Tom on his life-time of service to tennis and to ‘publicly acclaim Tom’s achievement in publishing the definite history of Irish Tennis.’ Councillor Kilgannon pointed out that to publish such a work ‘was
amonumental achievement’ but Tom’s ‘unrivalled knowledge of the sport, his infectious enthusiasm, and his ability to record and relay fascinating insights into the world of tennis’ helped bring this publication to fruition.
The Cathaoirleach talks of how ‘Tom’s unique determination’ led him to be the driving force behind the foundation of Sligo Tennis Club. This is ‘a testament to one man’s vision and focused commitment,’ in a time when the only public funding available was £50 from the V.E.C.”
Councillor Kilgannon recalled that at one particular meeting to discuss getting the project of the ground, upon being reminded by the committee that there was no funding for a full building, Tom’s response was ‘if we really want to do this, then we will do it.’ Their success is evident by the fact that Sligo has a thriving tennis club with plans for further development under the current presidency of Edel McDermott.
The Cathaoirleach reflected on a prolific sporting career which has seen Tom elected as an honorary life Vice-President of Ashbourne Rugby Club, honorary life member of Ashbourne Tennis Club and honorary life President of Sligo Tennis Club.
An acknowledgment of Tom’s vast contribution to Sligo tennis would not be complete without mentioning Tom’s wife Ursula. Councillor Kilgannon points out that ‘Tom is the first to acknowledge his contribution to tennis would not have been undertaken without her encouragement and support.’
- Cathaoirleach, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon with Mr Tom Higgins
Sligo County Community Forum would like to invite all community and voluntary groups in County Sligo to this event taking place in the Sligo Park Hotel on Wednesday, 26th March 2008 from 8 to 10pm.
Presentations will be made by: Fr. Sean Healy and Sr. Bridget Reynolds from CORI and Seamus Boland from Irish Rural Link ; three fascinating and experienced speakers who deal, on a day to day basis, with the whole area of Revitalising Communities. The night will enlighten and excite all who attend.
Sligo County Council will distribute over 350 native Irish saplings to groups in Sligo as part of the National Tree Week programme of events.
National Tree Week 2008 will be held from 2-8 March 2008. The aim of National Tree Week is to raise awareness about trees and encourage local communities to participate in over 300 events which will take place around the country during the week. Events include forest walks, tree planting ceremonies, workshops, talks, competitions and even tree plantathons!
Every year we select a theme and for 2008 the theme is ‘trees water life’. Water is the substance that makes our planet unique within our solar system. It is the source of all life. Without water, life as we know it could not exist. From single cell organisms to the largest plants, water is the common ingredient. Mature trees, the largest plants on the globe, have an added relationship with water that many lesser plants do not have.
Trees and woodlands rich in diversity play an important role in protecting our waterways. They filter out solids and absorb excessive nutrients, purifying water before it flows into streams and rivers, and helping to make it suitable for drinking. Forests also act like massive sponges, soaking up excessive rainfall and releasing it into waterways slowly over time, thereby helping to prevent flooding in villages and towns downstream.
Carefully designed woodlands along streams, rivers and lakes can also benefit fish and other forms of life in the water, providing food and cooling shade. Also, many of our well-known native trees, such as alder and willow, are closely associated with streams, rivers and lakes, forming an important part of our inland waterway heritage and landscape.
If you would like to organise a tree planting event in your local area please contact Sligo County Council at Telepone: 071-9111908 or e-mail: email@example.com
A contract for the Teesan/Lisnaurg sewerage Scheme has being signed at Sligo County Council’s offices in County Hall. The signing was attended by the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon, Councillors from the Sligo/Drumcliffe Electoral Area, Sligo County Manager Hubert Kearns, and staff from the Council’s Infrastructure Directorate.
The Cathaoirleach welcomed the signing of the €3.7m contract ‘The new scheme will service a wide catchment area, and is a very important development for the area. I would like to congratulate the staff involved in bringing this important scheme to contract stage.'
The contract was awarded to P&S Civil Works, and will involve the laying of 3,800 meters of sewers and over 4,000 metres of watermains. The contract is due to commence in April and is estimated to be completed in early 2009.
- The Cathaoirleach Councillor Killgannon, County Manager Hubert Kearns, Acting Director of Services Kevin Larkin with representives of P&S Civil Works at the sign of contract for the Teesan/Lisnaurg sewerage Scheme also in attendance are Councillors Barry and Councillor Cawley
Sligo County Childcare Committee welcomed Minister Brendan Smith TD, to officially open their new offices and to launch the Committee’s Strategic Plan 2007–2010.
The Strategic Plan 2007–2010 covers specific areas that are seen by the management of Sligo County Childcare Committee as vital to the development of the Childcare Sector in County Sligo over the coming years.
The plan is divided into specific areas:
The launch was attended by representatives from all areas of the childcare sector alongside Minister Devins TD, Mayor Councillor Jonathan McGoldrick, Cathaoirleach Councillor Kilgannon, Eamonn Scanlon TD, John Perry TD, local elected representatives and Sligo County Childcare Committee members. €14.5m has to date been invested in the establishment of childcare services in County Sligo creating over 1000 full time and 600 childcare places.
In congratulating Sligo County Childcare Committee on their assistance and development of quality childcare services in Sligo, Minister Smith referred to the Mission Statement for Sligo County Childcare Committee “To facilitate childcare providers to develop appropriate childcare services which respond to and cater for the childcare needs of local parents and their children and
meets the objectives of the National Childcare Investment Programme 2006-2010; and to continue to support and work with childcare providers, parents and other key stakeholders at local level.”
Sligo County Childcare Committee continues to work with individual and communities under the National Childcare Investment Programme, in establishing and developing childcare services across Sligo and offering support, information and networking across the sector.
Copies of the Strategic plan have also been endorsed by local agencies and boards across Sligo as Sligo County Childcare Committee continue to complement and work in collaboration with Sligo County Council.
- Minister Smith with representatives of the Sligo County Childcare Committee
To register your interest contact Sligo County Enterprise Board at 071-9144779 or Sligo County Council Economic Development Office, Tubbercurry at 071 9111735 before Friday 15th February or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Places are limited to 15. For more information on the full range of supports available from Sligo County Enterprise Board visit www.sligoenterprise.ie.
2007 has seen important changes for the Cranmore Regeneration Project in terms of the size, scope and shape of the project, with a number of key developments which will influence the Regeneration Projects Plans for 2008.
Over 2007 Sligo Borough Council has made a series of submissions to the Department of Environment Heritage and Local government resulting in approval for a number of projects. These include; funding for the development of sports facilities at Cleveragh; approval for the acquistion and demolition of the Centre Block; the redevelopment of the mounds and funding for the
redevelopment of Cranmore Place. The approval of these projects by the Department is a major boost for the Regeneration project as the process of implementation can commence. Plans are currently being developed for each of these projects.
Many of the projects delivered on by Sligo Borough Council in 2007 were identified through the consultation for the Regeneration Project over the past three years. One such initiative was a series of Traffic Calming Measures delivered by the Council’s Roads section and the delivery of a Central Heating programme for our tenants delivered by the Housing Maintenance Section. 2007 also saw the completion of the first phase of a pilot refurbishment programme which saw the conversion of 13 previously derelict houses into state-of-the-art family homes.
While there has been progress in relation to a variety of projects, the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Governemnt has emphasized the importance of integrating Cranmore into the wider hinterland, in the context of development of Sligo as a Gateway City.
A revised Masterplan will be produced will address the wider issues impacting on the regeneration of Cranmore, in particular in relation to linkages between the estate and the surrounding environs. The plan should take into account the broader planning objectives for the area, including the proposed bridge and distributor route linking the Eastern parts of the City.
In recognition of the need to take an interagency approach to the quality of life issues which affect people on a daily basis, a Social Regeneration Plan, devised by the Social Working Group, was completed in September 2007. Preparation of the plan included both community representatives and all of the key public and community based providers which deliver services that impact on quality of life issues in Cranmore.
The plan includes objectives in relation to education, employment, community development, family supports, housing and estate management, crime and policing, opportunities for young people and sport and recreation. It examines the services and programmes which are already in place and how these existing resources can be integrated to maximize their impact.
The Regeneration Project has successfully applied for funding from the Sustaining Communities Fund in order to implement a number of important elements of the Social Plan over the next three years including a Community Wardens Scheme, A Youth Development Programme and a Tenancy Sustainment Support Officer. These programmes will be delivered in partnership with other local agencies. It is also proposed in 2008 to organise a series of localised sport and recreation initiatives in conjunction with Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership and other agencies in order to promote healthy lifestyles and positive participation in community activities.
Community Development is a core element of the Cranmore Social Plan and the Regeneration Team is committed to supporting local based community organisations in their efforts to improve the quality of life in the area. The Regeneration Office liaises closely with the Cranmore Community Co-operative to ensure that the Community is kept up to date with the latest Regeneration News. Over 2007 a number of Community Development and Estate Management Initatives have been supported by SBC Regeneration Project. The Regeneration Office has provided support to the Cranmore Community Co-operative, the Resource House Project, Abbeyquarter Centre and the various residents associations to deliver on a number of projects and events to enhance the area. Amongst these were Best Kept Garden Competitions, support for Community Carnivals and Family events, training support for Community representatives, support for resident’s association environmental initiatives, minor structural enhancements, high quality signage and planters/floral barrels to enhance the area.
A Community Safety Taskforce has been established under the auspices of the Social Working Group in order to monitor and implement a number of the objectives in the social plan in relation to Crime and Policing. This working group has been highly instrumental in relation to promoting interagency co-operation in relation to community safety and is facilitated by the RAPID Coordinator and Estate Officer. It involves local Gardai, HSE, Emergency Services, Sligo Borough Council and local Community Representatives.
Sligo Borough Council is in the process of establishing a Regeneration Agency to drive the Regeneration project and to galvanise agencies at local level to ensure that interventions in the Regeneration area are focused on a common aim. This agency will be charged with addressing the strategic planning objectives in the area, in addition to responding to social and community issues identified and emerging.
The Arts Department of Sligo County Council announced the programme of events for a new Readers and Writers Festival to take place on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 March in Sligo and Tubbercurry with an exciting programme of events and readings for both children and adults.
An entertaining event as part of the festival will be a reading for children in Tubbercurry Library on Friday 7 at 1pm. It is said that when Julie O’Callaghan reads her poems to teenagers … teachers eavesdrop. The secret to her success as an acclaimed children’s writer is that, far from writing down to young people, her poems totally identify with them. Whether writing a poem about the pleasures and terrors of being home alone or a short lyric about a nasty asteroid, Julie O’Callaghan’s poems are devastatingly accurate and hugely entertaining.
On Saturday 8th March, one of the highlights for participants of this year’s inaugural festival is the Masterclass in Reading Poetry which will take place in the Yeats Building and is open to Writers, Readers and Those Who Want to Know What Poetry is All About. Guides Ted and Annie Deppe will present poets and poems that have changed their lives. This class is designed to help participants deepen their reading lives is a masterclass in falling in love with poems. Through a close exploration and reading of
a number of poems, the doors of poetry will be gently opened. Book a place today on 071 911 1980.
A great book worth ‘seeing’ and reading is the work of Kids Own Publishing Partnership together with the school students in Coolock, Co. Dublin. For this project Sligo writer, Mary Branley, helped children meditate and visualize places the children had in mind. Over a few weeks, they constructed these places as installations. They collaborated in small groups and then wrote about these special places, and how they felt. The installations serve as illustrations for poems and prose expressing how children feel about these worlds of their own. The children also wrote about how the experience changed them, and how they also learned how to work in small group situations.
Floating and flying
Out in space
I felt something lifting me up
It’s a weird crazy feeling
But fun and cool
Stars were falling down
And turning into flowers
(These words were written by me at the first workshop, then I had to work very hard to make the dream happen.) - Nina, age 10
There will be a series of readings by acclaimed writers such as Carlo Gebler, Suzanne Higgins, Children’s author Brenna Biggs, comedian and author Pauline McLynn and travel writer and broadcaster Manchán Magan. Opportunities to meet and hear such renowned and entertaining writers do not come around every day so seize the opportunity when it is presented. Most events are free.
The festival celebrates Sligo’s First Writer in Residence with Sligo Library, namely Niall Williams and he too will read from his latest publication “Boy in the World” which was reviewed in last Sunday’s Tribune.
The official opening will take place in the Sligo Central Library at 8pm by An Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Kilgannon and if you’re feeling inspired to write, the library is the place to be on Friday. County Librarian Donal Tinney and Niall Williams will present a short reading and will talk about his time as Writer-inresidence.
Full event details are available at www.sligoarts.ie or you can call Sligo County Council’s Arts Department on 071 911 1980 for a brochure.