Sligo’s first Culture Night on Friday 25th September introduced kids and adults to the richly varied world of modern and contemporary art in Sligo. A wide range of wonderful events took place all over town, for all ages and it was all for free!
- Musicians Perform on O’Connell Street during Culture Night
Culture Night Sligo, from 6pm – 10pm, with it’s free public access to a host of events in galleries, theatres, artist studios, on Sligo city route buses and in new art spaces offered everybody the chance to enjoy gallery conversations, art workshops, artist talks, film screenings, music performances and street entertainment as well as walks on local heritage. The wider participation of more towns and cities – 11 in all this year - since Culture Night was inaugurated in Dublin three years ago is indicative of the success and value of this open night in connecting people of all ages with our cultural heritage.
- ‘Shhhhhh’ Luke and Sally McGrath in their pyjamas in the Sligo Art Gallery (Maureen Meehan’s stripe paintings in the background), as they helped launch Culture Night Sligo
At a time when the national mood is downbeat and dominated by economic challenges, this communal occasion for all the family to experience the diverse and innovative arts scene in Sligo was a feast for the imagination. From leaving their hand prints on the Make Your Mark event in the White Cube along Rockwood Parade, to getting stamps on their Bags of Culture in the different venues it was an evening of discovery and adventure, encountering all sorts of art and music along the route.
All ages were welcome to see and feel how sculptures were made with sculptor Bettina Seitz and ceramicist Lynda Gault, bang on an African drum with Samboeire, make a mono-print in Joyn Art Studios, and be entertained by the larger than life carnival characters in the parade with singers, dancers and musicians through the streets of Sligo.
- Mayor Councillor McGarry attends the various Culture Night events
Other activities on offer ranged from lighting workshops and back stage tours in the Hawk’s Well Theatre, drawing many different design on glass with brightly coloured glow sticks in the Glasshouse Hotel to large outdoor projections of short films made by the youth of Sligo on the hoarding of The Model along the Mall and in the Wolf on Arm studios on Wolf Tone Street.
Singer Sinead O’Connor and her young son John Waters were surprise attendees at the Fairytales and Folktales for Children in the Yeats Memorial Building. The building, busy with people all evening was also host to a screening of a documentary on W.B. Yeats ‘Cast a Cold Eye’ and a lecture on Sligo’s favourite son, the great poet and noble laureate.
The delicious decorated cupcakes were all eaten by and pots of tea made by the score in the Sligo Art Gallery as the exhibiting artists talked about their art. Another party was going on in the Model Satellite Space on Castle Street where artists from Canada, Iceland and Ireland collectively created work for the Culture Night goers to get involved in at the opening of the Reverse Pedagogy exhibition.
Culture Night allowed everyone become an artist for a few hours and one way to be creative was by writing or drawing a note to your future self on an origami paper piece in the Institute of Technology in Ballinode. All paper was then connected to a massive sprawling assemblage of over 4,000 small paper structures. The Blue Raincoat Theatre Company opened all their doors and you could try your hand at mime workshops or browse through their library and archives.
- One of the groups of musicians who entertained people as they were bussed into Sligo for Culture Night
In conjunction with Bus Eireann Sligo, Sligo Music Buses had performers on board including a 20 strong youth choir from Strandhill who will perform at the International Choral Festival in November, a contemporary traditional Irish music group and singers, jazz musicians all playing on board as the buses drove towards Sligo for a night of unusual encounters. The Sligo Concert Band greeted bus trippers to tunes and melodies at the station and to get people in the mood for a night of culture to be remembered.
Graphic designer and photographer Ciara Layden delivered some arresting images during the Dress Up Box event which were later projected onto the side of a building along Rockwood Parade and attracted many people along Hyde Bridge after 9.30pm and through the evening.
- Workhouse Studios performing in Sligo on Culture Night
Sligo is home to a diverse and innovative population of artists and Culture Night was a celebration of their input into our community who make it the vibrant cultural city that we have. For more information contact Sligo Arts Service on 071 911 1826 or log onto www.sligoarts.ie.
Bobby Kerr, CEO of Insomnia and panellist on RTE’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ series, feels there are grounds for optimism for existing and new enterprise, despite the challenges posed by the down-turn in the economy.
Mr Kerr was Guest Speaker at a ‘Promoting Enterprise’ event hosted in the Ocean Sands Hotel Enniscrone. The forum was organised by Enniscrone & District Community Development Ltd in association with Sligo County Development Board.
- Bobby Kerr addresses those attending the recent ‘Promoting Enterprise’ event held in Enniscrone
The promotion was aimed at providing advice and information on supports for existing and new start up businesses, and was targeted at people who wish to develop a business idea or need support on a current enterprise. All the major enterprise agencies associated with the Sligo County Development Board were in attendance.
In his presentation, Mr Kerr discussed the operational challenges facing business, from ensuring adequate financial resources, to lowering costs to ensure competitiveness. He also highlighted the importance of retail enterprises developing new products to keep the range of goods ‘fresh and exciting’. Insomnia is Ireland’s largest independent coffee brand, and surviving the ‘economic melt-down’ entailed focusing on cost reduction and rewarding customer loyalty. He urged businesses to focus on better management information, and noted that it is now a better environment to negotiate with suppliers. He concluded his presentation with an outline of ‘Reasons to be cheerful’, otherwise known as ‘Bobby’s ten tips for young entrepeneurs’.. with ‘forget the begrudgers’ topping the list.
In his address the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Gerry Murray said ‘there was never a greater need for viable supports and encouragement for existing and potential enterprise. All businesses are facing into an era of change and uncertainty, and the process of managing this changes one of the most challenging issues many of you will face.
I would expect that the benefits of the enterprise promotion will be apparent in the weeks and months ahead, as people follow through on the formal and informal contacts they develop this evening. Nowadays, people with an enterprise idea have to master a range of disciplines, from marketing and sales to book-keeping. While this may seem daunting, the reality is that there were never more supports available in terms of guidance and mentoring, and this is the true value of this enterprise promotion.’
The Chairman of the Sligo County Development Board Councillor Tony McLoughlin sees the promotion as a hugely important event for the people of West Sligo and Enniscrone. ‘We are living in a time of economic uncertainty and there is a very clear need for supports for people managing existing enterprises, or considering new business opportunities. While the business community are facing a range of economic challenges, I think we must not lose sight of the fact that Sligo remains the key centre of economic growth in the Northwest, and we can build on that platform to support and develop local enterprise.’
Sligo County Council’s Director of Services for Community, Enterprise, Arts and the Environment, Rita McNulty feels that ‘In these very difficult times, it is crucial that we work together to create and find opportunities for job creation and retention. The County Development Board’s task is ‘join-up’ the combined supports and information of the agencies along with the social partners so that it is as easy as possible for people to access information and services.’
- Members of Sligo County Council Community and Enterprise Directorate with Bobby Kerr and the Cathaoirleach.
Left to Right - Deirdre Finnerty, SEO Sligo County Council, Geraldine Timlin, Sligo County Council, Bobby Kerr CEO ‘Insomnia’, Dromore West Councillor Mary Barrett, Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerry Murray, Siobhan Gillen and Gabriel Browne Sligo County Council Community and Enterprise Directorate
Sligo Civil Defence is not immune to the economic challenges facing the country this year. It has been hit by budget cuts just like all departments but at the same time thanks to the commitment from our volunteers it has been able to meet the increased demand for our services.
The Civil Defence is responding to an increasing number of events each year, from assisting at 14 events back in 2001 to 70 events in 2008 and this number may well be surpassed this year. A total of 620 volunteers gave of their time to assist with these 70 events in 2008.
In January of this year, Sligo volunteers were placed on standby by The HSE Ambulance service to be available to assist during the inclement weather hitting the area. Civil Defence was requested to place their Ambulance and 4 wheel drive vehicles on alert to assist the Ambulance personnel on call to reach difficult areas. Again, in April our service was once again placed on standby to assist in the relocation of patients from Sligo General hospital, if the need arose during the nurses strike.
The World Rally came to Sligo again this year in late January and the Civil Defence were again to the ready to assist with not only the Rally but the Mardi Gras and fireworks event.
This year 70 Civil Defence volunteers have been up-skilled on first aid training to FETAC, PHECC and OFAA Level and all have received their certificates - thanks to their dedicated group of volunteer instructors who travelled throughout the county during the winter months to provide the training. This training takes place 4 nights per week and is a huge commitment from the instructors.
At present 8 volunteers are up-skilling to EFR Level and are waiting anxiously for a date for their exams. 12 more volunteers have already started this level of training and will continue over the winter.
Seven volunteers have taken the plunge to progress their training towards instructorship in various skills through the Civil Defence college in Roscrea and it is hoped to have them successfully qualify before Christmas.
Civil Defence college in Roscrea has embarked on EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) Training which is a high level of first aid and a huge commitment for the volunteer participants. This training commenced in January of this year and was offered initially to volunteer instructors. The first batch of 23 volunteer instructors graduated in June.
Sligo Civil Defence volunteers continue to provide First Aid / Ambulance cover for all Sligo Rovers home games which has now become a standing order in our yearly calendar. The volunteers are delighted to be recognised in high regard by the Rovers management to want their continued services year on year. This duty is a great challenge and the experience to be gained is immeasurable. The team on duty have been called upon on a number of occasions to deal with different situations.
The highlight of this years’ activities was the attendance of 5 Sligo volunteers at Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois where they assisted with the provision of welfare for more than 170 volunteers for lunch and dinner each day. Sligo volunteers were also requested to attend at ‘Oxegen’ and Reek Sunday but due to short notice and other commitments they had to decline these requests but these dates have now been pencilled into next years calendar. Events like these give the volunteers a high profile of capability to respond.
Training sessions for Civil Defence volunteers have recommencedin the 6 centres throughout the county in October. Because of the economic downturn in the country the Civil Defence is bracing itself for an influx of new volunteers with time on their hands and the will to learn new skills and hopefully, open new horizons for them. There has been an increase in call enquiries about the organisation and the training provided.
Due to the fact that the training is free, those committed to Civil Defence work on our P.R. skills in order to encourage those who join initially for the training only to stay with the organisation and to give a commitment no matter how small back to the organisation.
Before year end there is a plan in place to run 3 major emergency exercises which I am sure Civil Defence volunteers will be anxious to get involved with.
There is no holiday for Civil Defence volunteers. They enjoy the fact that their skills are useful and that opportunities to demonstrate their skills are always coming on stream even if it means foregoing their own free time. As stated at the beginning of this report the Civil Defence is not immune to today’s economic crisis and rising costs of maintaining vehicles and upgrading equipment to health and safety standards delves a huge dip into the annual budget which has been cut this year. Having said that, the Civil Defence will endeavour to meet the needs of the community when called upon to do so and to the best of it’s ability.
Multiskilled training sessions for Civil Defence volunteers will commence from the 6th October and will be held one night per week.
All interested and returning volunteers please contact the representative listed for the centre you wish to attend for the date and time of registration / class commencement
|Area||Day and Time||Location||Contact|
|Dromore West/Easkey area||Monday nights - 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm||Community Centre Dromore West, Co. Sligo||Paddy Sheridan at 096-47332 |
Jarlath Neary at 096-47856
|Ballymote area||Tuesday nights - 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm||Pastoral Centre in Ballymote||Annie Feely at 071-9183761|
|Enniscrone area||Tuesday nights - 8.00 pm –10.00 pm||Fire Station in Enniscrone||Seamus Egan at 086-8808039|
|Sligo Town||Wednesday nights - 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm||Control Centre rear of Government Buildings Cranmore||Marion Davis at 071-9142702|
|Grange area||Thursday nights - 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm||Grange VEC||Annie Mullaney at 071-9166309 |
Annemarie Mitchell at 071-9163797
|Cloonloo/Gurteen area||Thursday nights - 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm||Cloonloo Parish Hall||Kathleen O’Gara at 071-9663007 |
Cathal O’Gara at 086-8318192
The official launch of The Cathach will take place on Monday 21st September 2009 in Sligo Central Library.
The aim of ‘The Cathach’ has been to create a new place for writing and painting, a kind of virtual Reading Room or Annexe off Sligo County Library where readers can come to find new work from writers both familiar and unfamiliar.
In the same way as the browsing of a library shelf provides surprise encounters, this issue of ‘The Cathach’ brings together fiction and non-fiction, poetry and drama, as well as a pictorial essay in portraiture.
It includes both Irish and international writers, prizewinning authors alongside some whose work is being published for the first time.
All of the authors included in ‘The Cathach’ have given their work freely. It has been our aim to present it here in a way that complements that generosity, and with the hope that it will lead you to further reading of their work. This journal is part of the continuing support for Literature of Sligo County Library, without which it would not exist.
Sligo Library Service invited all participants to Sligo Central Library on Monday 24th August at 3.00pm to celebrate the end of Quest Seekers Summer Reading Challenge.
Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerry Murray, Deputy Mayor Councillor Jude Devins, County Librarian Donal Tinney and Executive Librarian Patricia Keane were on hand to award all with certificates, medals and goodies "galore" for all children who participated.
At the start of summer Sligo Central Library invited children to join the 2009 Quest Seekers Summer Reading Challenge, the theme of which was the power of the imagination. The initial launch took place in July and once all children were signed up as a Quest Seeker they were issued with a membership card, poster and collectable stickers.
All participants had to read six books of their choice from the existing library stock. On each subsequent return visit to the library they were given stickers to fill in the gaps on their poster - which completed the task of helping the Questseeker characters find the Golden Book. A website was also available online www.questseekers.org.uk for all participants to follow the adventures of the various Questseekers Belle, Louis and Raj.
The Award Ceremony had a huge turnout with well over 100 children along with parents showing up to collect their certificates. As the large crowdentered the library and got comfortable Wayne O’Connor kept all entertained with a large variety of popular melodies. Executive Librarian Patricia Keane thanked all for showing up and in particular for the positive response from all the younger participants. Both Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerry Murray and Deputy Mayor Councillor Jude Devins then proceeded to hand out the various certificates and medals to all the children present. In wrapping up proceedings both Councillors were once again on hand to officially launch the start of the new DVD collection now available from the Sligo Library Service. The collection which spans both juvenile and older age groups focuses on classical movies and educational documentaries which can be watched on numerous occasions.
The Model, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centres, was today awarded funding of €2.4 million from the Border Midlands Western Regional Assembly. The funding is for The Model’s major redevelopment project which is currently underway, and due for completion at the end of this year.
Seamus Kealy, Director/Curator of The Model, spoke this afternoon of his appreciation at the announcement - "These funds are a radical boost to our local economy and for the future of Sligo. The monies will ensure that we can meet many of our operational goals to have one of Ireland's most unique and state-of-the-art cultural facilities. The Model will be the place to be in Ireland for all audiences."
The award recognises the vision of Sligo County Council in leading this important development for the Gateway City, and will reinforce The Model’s position as an iconic cultural centre and leading visitor attraction. This fund will help realise this ambitious project which, once completed, will place Sligo firmly on the national and international cultural map.
Chair of The Model Bernadette O’Shea also expressed her gratitude: “We are hugely appreciative of this funding from the BMW Regional Assembly, not only financially but also in the wonderful endorsement it gives to The Model project. This funding represents their support of a vision to invest in the economic, social and cultural development of Sligo through the provision of a world-class cultural facility and visitor attraction. We would continue to appeal to the local and national business community to match this investment in Sligo through the sponsorship of a named gallery, performance space or artists studio”
In the current economic climate, this announcement is sure to be a welcome one for the people of Sligo and the Arts and Cultural sector nationwide. It illustrates significant confidence in the project, and illuminates Sligo as a Gateway City, providing substantial investment in the region. It is estimated the award will contribute to the creation of an additional 23 construction jobs.
For The Model to receive such a significant award enhances and recognises the value of cultural investment and prioritises the development of Sligo as a modern, contemporary city.
The Model is currently undergoing a major redevelopment, with a reopening due in spring 2010. This redevelopment will increase The Model in size and operations by one third. Programming and operations will expand to include a fulltime, international cinema programme, to include nine new artists studios (including a residential studio and a music rehearsal studio), to house a 250 seat, purpose built performance space, to include a destination restaurant, and to continue housing one of the country’s most significant art collections.
Upon re-opening, The Model will further develop itself as a cultural hub for audiences from all walks of life by further implementing these programmes with expanded facilities.
The Model is distinctive in Ireland as a multi-disciplinary arts centre that is led by the contemporary visual arts, houses a major art collection of national importance, produces innovative contemporary music and film programmes - all of which are mediated through an integrated Education programme. The Model is recognised internationally for its standards of excellence.
The redevelopment of The Model has been spearheaded by Sligo County Council and funded in part by the departmet of Arts Sports and Tourism’s ACCESS funds (2007) and assisted most recently by a capital award of €600,000 from the Sligo Borough Council.
Works for The Model’s major redevelopment are to be completed in December 2009 with the re-opening planned for Spring 2010.To read more about the redevelopment please visit our website or our blog (search for redevelopment) http://sligomodelblog.wordpress.com
The BMW Fund is allocated from an advance payment of the EU Structural Funds to Ireland, representing a continuation of the Assembly’s commitment to the development of Sligo and other BMW Region’s Gateways and Hubs as designated under the National Spatial Strategy framework and prioritised in the BMW Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013.
The Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly was one of two Regional Assemblies established in 1999 by the Irish Government to give effect to the division of the country into two regions for Structural Funds purposes. For the 2007-13 funding period, the BMW region qualifies as a phasing-in region for Objective 2 funding (Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective).
The total monies for this fund were €17 million and priority was given in the appraisal process to projects which have a strong economic development rationale with good job creation prospects, and which best encompass and demonstrate appropriate urban design, innovation, appropriate scale and cost effectiveness.
Mayor of Sligo Councillor Jim McGarry has honoured Sligo’s Boys’ Club founder, Fr Gerry Donnelly, with a reception in City Hall.
- Mayor Councillor Jim McGarry makes a special presentation to Fr. Gerry Donnelly
In the 60’s Fr Donnelly was a major presence in Sligo, chiefly through his work in establishing and running the Boys’ Club in O’Connell St. For youngsters from Sligo’s housing estates, this was often the only recreational outlet they had. Many of the ‘boys’ progressed to excel in the local Junior Leagues, and a number went on to have distinguished careers with Sligo Rovers.
In addition to the Boys’ Club, Fr Donnelly went on to take a leading role in founding other community facilities across Sligo town, including the provision of a soccer pitch in Merville and the St. Annes Youth Club. He also worked with the Mercy Sisters to provide a playing pitch in Cranmore Road, (now MacSharry Park). Through these efforts he made an enormous contribution as mentor, coach and friend to countless young people in Sligo town.
- Mayor McGarry and Guests at a recent reception to honour the work of Fr. Gerry Donnelly
Mayor Councillor Jim McGarry calls gum litter ‘one of the most persistent and unsightly environmental issues facing us. It is a particular problem in urban areas, and I am delighted to see so many agencies join forces to plan and deliver a co-ordinated approach to the issue.’
The Mayor urged people to take greater pride in their environment. ‘When you look around Sligo, there is much to be proud of. The range and quality of our parks and recreational facilities rival any city in the country. We have worked hard in Sligo Borough Council to provide these facilities in partnership with the local communities. We now have to move to the next level, to ensure all our open spaces, whether in the city centre or in our many green areas, are kept free of gum litter and every other form of litter.’
The Mayor urged a community-wide response to the problem. ‘While Sligo Borough Council has no problem in taking a leading role in the campaign, I think it is important to stress that caring for the environment is not the exclusive preserve of the Local Authority, it is an issue for each and every one of us.’ The Mayor also issued a warning to litter offenders. ‘There is no longer a benign tolerance of litter offenders, and Sligo Borough Council and other Local Authorities around the country will be vigilant in ensuring that people who spoil our environment will be pursued.’
According to Sligo County Council’s Director of Environmental Services, Rita McNulty, ‘Gum litter is an unsightly and serious environmental issue, and it is a problem that simply won’t go away. A Gum Litter Task Force was set up at national level to find a way of implementing a sustainable environmental awareness campaign and we are delighted that the people of Sligo have come out to support this campaign. It is in all our interests to create a clean environment, free of gum and other litter, and I believe this campaign will have a very positive impact.
- Included in the photograph are Kevin Quinn, President, Chamber of commerce, Catherine Mullaney, Quayside Shopping Centre, Mayor Councillor Jim McGarry, Dolores McDonagh, Community and Enterprise,Members of Comhairle nÓg
The initiative is being run in conjunction with Sligo’s Tidy Towns Committees and Comhairle na Nog and is supported by local businesses and schools.
Nine sculptural artworks have recently been installed at Salmon Point Amenity Area. The sculptures have been specifically designed for the area by artist Stephen Hurrel.
By introducing colour and intriguing shapes to the amenity area the artist hopes that more people will find the site interesting and welcoming. Each of the five wood and steel constructions is based on designs of nautical signal flags. Each signal flag represents a message as well as a letter of the alphabet. The 'hidden message' in the five pieces spells out S.L.I.G.O.
Four large pieces of Kilkenny Limestone each have a single word craved into their top surface, HOLD FAST and HANG TEN. The idea of having the text on the top surface is so that so that each letter may, at times, fill up with rain water. This also makes reference to the water that used to exist on this former swimming pool site.
The text 'HOLD FAST' refers to tattoos that Riggers who once worked in the port used to have on their hands to help them pull in the ropes.
The text 'HANG TEN' refers to a surfing term, ten toes hanging over front of the surf-board. This reference recognises the many forms of exchange between Ireland and America. Surfing has become a popular 'imported' sport. However Ireland is well connected to the history of surfing also as it was George Freeth, son of an Irish family who immigrated to Hawaii, who learned how to surf from the locals and then introduced it to California... it then travelled back to Ireland.
Additionally the artist has also designed ripples in the grass - in the area where the swimming pool used to occupy. The ripples emanate from the point where people would dive from the diving board.
Stephen Hurrel was commissioned by Sligo Local Authorities and funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government Per Cent for Art Scheme. The commission marks the delivery of the Sligo Waste Water Treatment Plant officially opened in May 2009.
Further information is available from Sligo Arts Service, firstname.lastname@example.org 071 911 1822
The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Gerry Murray has welcomed the news that Ballymote Public Library is to be reopened. ‘The many people who contacted me when the closure of the Library was announced shows just how valued the service is. I see the Library as a hugely important presence in any community, the people of Ballymote have great time for their local Library and the staff working there. This is great news for Ballymote, and we can now look forward to the opening of the new Branch Library in early 2010.’
Tuesdays 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Wednesdays 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Thursdays 1.00pm – 5.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Fridays 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Saturdays 9.30pm – 1.30pm