A RANGE of business, community and civic leaders in Sligo made a special trip to London this month to attend the latest event hosted by the Sligo Business Network.
The London-based network hosted their ‘Sligo in The City’ gathering at the London Capital Club, where roughly 100 men and women from, or affiliated with, the county met for an evening of speeches and networking.
Guests who made the trip from Ireland included Sligo County Council Manager Ciarán Hayes, President of the Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) Professor Vincent Cunnane and CEO of Sligo’s Chamber of Commerce Paul Keyes.
Those in attendance enjoyed a keynote speech by Dublin entrepreneur and property developer David Raethorn, who recently purchased the Hazelwood House estate on the shores of Lough Gill in Co. Sligo, which he plans to transform into a tourist destination.
Former Labour MP and Minister Sir Patrick Duffy was also in attendance for the event, where Prof Cunnane announced that IT Sligo, IT Letterkenny and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology had recently submitted a formal request to the Irish government for full university status, which, if granted, would “be a major boost for Sligo and the West of Ireland”.
Sligo based Senator Susan O’Keeffe, Chair of Yeats 2015 – a year-long project celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ireland’s Nobel Prizewinning poet, was also in attendance.
Senator O’Keeffe and Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall used the opportunity to outline plans for the celebrations, which take place in mid-June in Sligo, and urged guests to travel home to join in the commemorations.
Closing the event, Andy Rogers, Chair of the Sligo Business Network London, said: “Events like this evening greatly assist improved dialogue between those in London and business leaders from back home in Sligo.”
He added: “This is something that can only lead to good, as Ireland and the West strive for post-recession growth and opportunities.”
The next SBN event is due to take place in November.