cairde arts festival

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival Returns From July 6 – 13 2019

Following on from a sun-drenched crowd-filled event in 2018, the Festival returns this summer to host a stellar lineup of Irish and international musicians, artists and performers in a range of unique and surprising venues and locations across County Sligo.

Commenting on this year’s Festival, event director Tara McGowan said: “The Festival has been on an exciting trajectory in recent years; we are delighted to welcome new funding from the Arts Council of Ireland’s ‘Arts Grant Fund’ which will allow us to bring ground-breaking Irish and international artists together for exciting and new collaborative work.

On top of this good news, funding through the Arts Council’s Festival and Event programme has been practically doubled for 2019. This will help us greatly with the further expansion of the arts festival, bringing more Irish and international acts to Sligo, as well as expanding our audiences, and attracting international visitors to the region.”

An unmissable week of culture, family-friendly events, visual art and street-theatre will launch with Park Fest, the annual day-long event in Sligo’s Peace Park. Songs By the Sea, intimate gigs in some of Sligo’s most loved sea-side cafes will return, as will Cairde Visual, the open submission visual art exhibition in conjunction with The Model.

In 2019, Cairde SAF collaborates with Brokentalkers and the Hawk’s Well Theatre on new work for theatre,  a new music programme will be launched with an exciting collaboration featuring Claudia Schwab, Cathy Jordan and Irene Buckley along with international musicians Bodek Janke, Raphael Decoster and Soof Nikritin.

Headline acts and the full programme will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy some of the highlights from Cairde Sligo Arts Festival 2018.

See you in Sligo this July!

More at cairdefestival.com

it sligo self driving cars

First Online Autonomous Vehicles Course Launched by IT Sligo

The first online course aimed at the Autonomous Vehicles industry was officially launched by the Minister of Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD on Friday 11th of January at IT Sligo.

This innovative new part-time Masters of Engineering programme brings together interdisciplinary concepts such as computer vision, artificial intelligence, vehicle dynamics and advanced sensor systems to provide engineers with the skills required to design the next generation of self-driving cars.

Speaking before the official launch, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:

“Autonomous Vehicles is the future of the motor industry and IT Sligo is at the forefront of online education in Ireland.  To have such a futuristic course delivered around the world to industry leaders, highlights how far third level education has come to Ireland.  Institutes of Technology have always worked with regional industries in delivering relevant courses.  But now, thanks to IT Sligo’s embracing of online learning, we can now deliver ground-breaking courses to industries around the world.”

IT Sligo’s new online Master of Engineering in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles programme has been closely developed with the motor industry on the west coast of Ireland as well as with input from German automotive manufacturers and suppliers such as BMW and Continental AG through IT Sligo’s partner University of Applied Sciences, Kempten, Germany.

IT Sligo is one of the largest suppliers of online courses in Ireland and is attracting many students from around the world with its innovative approach to online learning.  Almost half of IT Sligo’s 6,000 students are now studying online.

Master of Engineering in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles programme is one of over 100 courses available online at IT Sligo and has proven very popular among engineers working in the automotive industry.  The course has attracted students from around the world including; Russia, India and the United States.

President of IT Sligo, Dr Brendan McCormack thanked Minister Mitchell O’Connor for her support and praised the work of the Faculty of Engineering and Design at IT Sligo for the innovative new online course:

“We are delighted to be the first third level institute in Europe to offer an online Masters course in Autonomous Vehicles.  The popularity of this course has been proven by the enthusiasm of the industry and the number of students from around the world who have enrolled.  We are always looking at opportunities to offer new courses in growing industries.  Autonomous driving is one such industry and to be the only third level institute to be offering such a course online is a great achievement for IT Sligo.”

Modules of the course include: Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Environment Detection, Vehicle Dynamics and Control, Automotive System Safety & Cybersecurity, as well as an industry focused academic research thesis in the field of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Design.

For further details please see: itsligo.ie/courses/meng-connected-autonomous-vehicles/

Top 13 Adventure Things to do in the West for Christmas & New Year’s

With all the giving and getting, spending and consuming, it can be very easy to get a little overwhelmed and frazzled at this time of year. Our solution is to get outdoors into this stunning place we call home and give the best gift you can give to friends, family, those in need; your time.

There is nothing like the West of Ireland air to blow out the cobwebs and refresh the mind after all the Christmas indulgence.

If you REALLY want to experience Christmas in the West, dive in! Brave the freezing waters for the traditional Christmas morning swim. Find the perfect gift among the stalls at the Christmas Markets and show off your Gaeilge with a breezy ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’.

Best Christmas & New Year’s Swims

There is NO better way to clear the cobwebs than a teeth-chattering dip in the Atlantic. So get your hip flasks ready and check out our pick of the best Christmas and New Year’s Day swims across the West.

Galway:
1. COPE Galway Christmas Day Swim.


This is the 29th annual Christmas Day Swim organised by COPE, where swimmers gather in Salthill and brave the icy waters together to raise money for the most vulnerable people in our society.
Last year over 450 people took time out of there Christmas Day to take the plunge, raising €28,900 for COPE’s services in Galway. Registration for the Christmas day Swim is €10 for one person or €30 for the family.

Anyone who wants to take the time out of the holiday season to help those who aren’t so fortunate can register online here.

The Christmas Day Swim will take place at Blackrock Pier in Salthill from 10am to 1pm. copegalway.ie/get-involved/events/christmas-day-swim/

2. Inis Mór, Co Galway

The Aran island has a variety of swimming spots, the most famous of which is Pól na bPéist – home to the Red Bull divers in the summer. The island’s population dwindles in winter, there are still plenty of intrepid souls who meet for a post-Mass gathering on December 25th.

3. Sligo: The Christmas Day Splash in Rosses Point

This annual charity swim raises much-needed funds for the MS North West Therapy Centre. The swim takes place from Rosses Point Yacht Club at 12 noon.

25 Dec, Rosses Point, Co Sligo facebook.com/Christmas-Splash-Christmas-Day-Rosses-point-Sligo-121508774625721/

There are a plethora of other charity swims in Sligo including Streedagh, Mullaghmore and Raughley.

4. Roscommon: Lough Arrow Annual Swim
Christmas Day 2018 sees the 18th Lough Arrow Annual Swim in aid of North West Hospice. The swim will start at 1pm at Flynn’s Pier, Lough Arrow and will see participants braving the picturesque Lough Arrow for a Winter dip. There is lots on offer for swimmers and spectators alike with a truly festive atmosphere of family fun on the lakeside including a DJ spinning Christmas tunes, hot whiskeys & mulled wine to warm the cockles as well as soft drinks for children. Events will kick off from 12:30pm Christmas Day with the swimmers going into Lough Arrow at 1pm. The annual swim has raised over €184,000 for the Hospice since it began in 2001. northwesthospice.ie/events/lough-arrow-christmas-day-swim/

5. Donegal
Culdaff, Co Donegal: The New Year’s Day swim at is Inishowen’s largest, hundreds of people from across Inishowen, Donegal and Derry take the annual plunge at Culdaff beach. This year’s swim kicks off 2.30pm on New Year’s Day.

Bundoran, Co Donegal: The Christmas Day swim takes place on the main beach at 12.15pm

6. Clare

kilkee christmas swim

Kilkee is a swimmer’s utopia. Its Pollock Holes are natural deep pools that replenish each time the tide recedes. Newfy (or Newfoundout as its officially called), has two diving boards which Richard Harris used to frequent. The annual Christmas Day swim is on Kilkee Beach at 12.30pm in aid of Kilkee Sub Aqua Club’s search-and-recovery activities.

25 Dec, Kilkee, Co Clare loophead.ie/events/christmas-day-swim-in-aid-of-cancer-research/

Solstice Celebrations

7. Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk, Loop Head, Co Clareloop head labyrinth
Welcome the return of the light on the eve of the shortest day of the year. Create an intention in your heart and walk the Labyrinth with family and friends this Winter Solstice.

At the centre, is the beautifully crafted statue of Danu, mother Goddess of the Tuatha de Danaan. Danu represents the protector of the Earth. The Triskell on her pregnant belly represents Earth, Sea and Sky.

You are invited to chant the healing mantra with us in the Yoga centre afterward. Donations are welcomed to help the Hope Foundation who support the vulnerable on the Streets of Calcutta. Please rug up well, wear comfortable shoes and bring a torch or lantern. Bring a little jar to hold a tea light.
loophead.ie/events/winter-solstice-labyrinth-walk/

8. Celebrate the solstice in Sligo with a Pagan Adventureseatrails christmas

Celebrate Pagan New Year on the 21st of December with marine archaeologist Auriel from Seatrails.

To mark this important day, you will first explore the interesting Caves of Keash where remains of extinct fauna were discovered at the turn of the 20th Century and a place that is steeped in Irish mythology. You can enjoy fabulous views from the caves out onto the rural landscape.

carrowkeel auriel

Then you will head to the incredible Stone Age passage graves of Carrowkeel, (a most inspiring place to be at solstice) to see the sunset over a majestic landscape and the moon rise lighting up the ancient tombs and the spirits of those who were buried there thousands of years ago. These people were farmers and fully in sync with the pagan calendar year. This was an important time for them as they looked forward to the lengthening of the daylight and the start of Spring, a rebirth of crops and animals and not to forget, a brand New Year!

Finish off with complimentary mince pies and hot chocolate out in nature ‘al fresco’. The cost is €25 for adults and €10 for children. Meeting time is 12 noon. Booking is essential. Dec 21.

Auriel is also running a Christmas ‘Heritage On Horseback’ With Seatrails on 29 December. Full details and booking at Seatrails.ie

Christmas Adventure Festivals and Events:

9. Blow the cobwebs away with a Christmas Paddle on Lough Gill

Here’s a day out with a difference for friends and families – kayaking on gorgeous Lough Gill with Sligo Kayak Tours. The three-hour tours are for everyone; no experience is necessary, and all equipment is supplied. Knowledgeable tour guides bring the lake, its legends and characters to life. A thoughtful stop off at a secluded island for a seasonal mulled wine and mince pies puts the icing on the cake so to speak. It’s a special time of year to be out with family and friends and Lough Gill is a beautiful place to spend a few hours.

Every day from St. Stephen’s Day to New Year’s Day (26-31 December) Sligo Kayak Tours run three-hour paddles starting at 10.30am. The cost is €40 per adult and €30 for the under 16s. Advance booking is essential 086 1999015 or sligokayaktours@gmail.com. facebook.com/SligoKayakTours/

10. Sturrall Headland Rock Climbsturral donegal

Winter climbing in the County of Donegal in the North West of Ireland is quite simply outstanding, alas it has a very fleeting window of opportunity. Due to its coastal position and relatively low lying mountains good winter conditions in Donegal are a rare commodity indeed.  Usually, temperatures have to be below 0 for 5 days consecutively, and down to -5 at night, and an ill-timed dump of snow can spoil it all. To take advantage of these fleeting conditions you have to drop everything, and brave the inevitably appalling road conditions to get there, for rest assured, it won’t last!

The winter light along Ireland’s most remote coastline is incredible. Around New Years Day adventurer Iain Miller visits the summit of the Sturrall in Donegal. The Sturrall Headland is one of the most outstanding sea cliff features in Ireland it is a true monster of a headland sitting isolated and far from the real world. It sits equidistant between Glencolmcille Village to the South and the An Port road end to the North. The ridge is approx 800m long and 180m at its highest point.

As this outing is very weather dependent, to confirm availability it is best to email Iain Miller directly. For more visit Iain’s website at uniqueascent.ie

11. Galway Skates ( 18th November 2018 – 16th January 2019)

Galway Skates brings Christmas Ice Skating on a real ice skating rink to Galway City for Christmas 2018. Visitors can expect to see Galway’s Leisureland transformed into one of Ireland’s premier Christmas attractions with one massive 500m2 ice rink.

www.galwayskates.com

12. Fanore Burren Christmas 2018 – 10k/5k Event

Get ready for 2017 by burning off the Christmas excess at the 6th annual Fanore Burren Christmas 10k/5k starting at 12 from O’Donohues Pub on the R477 “Wild Atlantic Way”. Registration open from 10.30

The Fanore event has built up a reputation for its high-quality finishers medal and this year we have pushed the boat out with a beautiful medal marking the centenary of the Easter Rising. You won’t find a better one.

The 10k course is challenging with a 400-foot climb in the first half – most, of course, is tarmac with 1km on the green road. 5k is a flat course on tarmac suitable for all.

Numbers can be picked up from 10.30 at start. Registration on the day from 10.30 to 11.30 by cash or cheque. Saturday 29 December 2018  active.com/fanore-clare

13. Achill New Years Eve:

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve there is a tradition in many villages on Achill Island in Co Mayo for their pipe bands to welcome in the New Year. A short parade followed by a rally of three or more Achill pipe bands provides a rousing and unforgettable New Year’s celebration for all the family. For the ‘morning after the night before’ how about a bracing dip in the Atlantic at the traditional New Year’s Day swim at Dugort. achilltourism.com/newyear

winter elves

Top 10 Things to do in the West of Ireland before Christmas

Twinkling lights, frosty winter air and festive cheer around every corner – welcome to Christmas in the West.

The most wonderful time of the year? We think so! Think bustling streets filled with festive shoppers, hot drinks enjoyed in front of a roaring turf fire and carol singers belting out your favourite Christmas tunes.

Check out our list of the top things to do in the West this festive season.

Santa with a Twist

1. Santa at the Arigna Mining Experience.  Visit Santa underground at the Arigna Mining Experience in Co Roscommon, a world-class attraction using bona fide miners as guides. Given the rocky authenticity of the surroundings, this Santa visit is like no other. Santa will be in his underground grotto where he will meet all the children. There will be daily entertainment which includse face painting, story telling and lots more fun activities for the kids.Until 22 Dec. arignaminingexperience.ie/santa/

christmas westport house

2. Winter Wonderland at Westport House. Winter Wonderland at Westport House is a magical family experience brimming with Christmas cheer that will leave the kids starry-eyed and the whole family believing in fairy-tales!

Escape the wintery weather outside for the warmth of our open fires in this stunning historic house. Soak up the twinkling lights, lush green garlands and tinsel trimmings spilling festively from every corner of Westport House as the little ones enjoy a fun-filled Christmas experience that they are sure to remember forever.

Until 23 Dec. Westport House, Westport, Co Mayo. westporthouse.ie/event/winter-wonderland-2/

3. The Christmas Experience at Tullyboy Farm, Boyle, Co Roscommon

Down on Tullyboy Farm in Boyle in Co. Roscommon there is a chill in the air and all the animals are tucked up warmly in their beds awaiting the arrival of baby Jesus. The atmosphere is buzzing with excitement. The pudding is being made, Santa’s bags are being packed and the Elves are eager to bring you through the ten stages of the Tullyboy Farm Christmas Experience.

Parents and children can warm themselves with hot chocolate and marshmallows and mulled juices/mince pies in the Yuletide Kitchen where you can also help out with stirring the pudding and don’t forget to make your wish. Hear the story of Christmas in front of the big fire in the inglenook fireplace, then up the spiral staircase to Santa’s bedroom to see Santa’s old-fashioned bed and the naughty elf.

Visit the Christmas Experience at Tullyboy Farm until 23 December. tullyboyfarm.com/visitorfarms/christmas/

4. Visit Donegal’s Lapland

The longest running and most popular Christmas show in Donegal is back again for 2018 and you do really have to pass the North Pole to get here, we kid you not!

Santa’s Lapland in Donegal includes a live show, with an elf telling the nativity story as it unfolds on stage. Santa arrives down the chimney with a small gift for each child. They move on to Santa’s home, visit the toy factory and sit on his sleigh. There’s a second chance to meet Santa at his home, and have photos taken. See donegalslapland.ie

5. Santa’s Workshop at Ailwee Caves, Co Clare

Santa Claus has been taking up his annual residence at Aillwee Cave in Ballyvaughan especially to meet children and their families since The Millennium. He works very hard as he prepares this unique event.

Along with Mrs. Claus and his team of happy Elves, Santa ensures a very special personalised visit for each child. He arranges lots of exciting entertainment for all the family which continues right throughout each day. There is face painting, a puppet show and lots of carnival entertainment to be enjoyed.

Santa Elves are waiting with their LISTS of the boys and girls visiting every day. They will guide everyone along the cave passageways singing Christmas Carols all the way. Santa Claus with his helper will meet and chat with each child and of course, have a present for everyone. Mrs. Claus is there to greet the grownup with a glass of Hot Punch and a Mince Pie.

Santa’s train is available for rides all day long which will take you to visit the Birds of Prey Centre. There you will enjoy a complimentary visit to meet a Snowy Owl or a Happy Harris Hawk! A visit to Santa’s Workshop at Aillwee really is a unique, thrilling, fun filled day out for every generation of your family.
Until 22 Dec. facebook.com/aillwee

6. Brigit’s Garden, Galway

If you’d like to take the focus away from presents, you might like Brigit’s Garden in Galway. Their “Santa’s Christmas Magic Show” includes music and dancing, followed by the lighting of candles, and then the lighting of the Christmas tree – by magic. There are no individual presents for children (though there is a “symbolic gift” for each family). So if you’re worried about the commercial side of Christmas, this might be the one for you.

Until 23 December. brigitsgarden.ie

Christmas Markets

Nothing gets people in the Christmas mood more than a colourful market. Eating delicious festive food at markets will get us all warmed up for the Christmas dinner.

galway christmas market

7. Galway Continental Christmas Market

Galway Christmas Market

The Galway Continental Christmas Market makes its return to the City Of The Tribes from 6pm on Friday 16th November until Saturday 22nd December 2018.

The Galway Continental Christmas Market received over 350,000 visitors last year and there were more than 50 wooden chalets located Eyre Square along with the Santa’s Grotto, the German Bier Keller numerous other theatrical delights throughout the four week fair.

This year marks the Christmas Market’s ninth year in Galway, with artisan foods and Christmas present ideas from both local and international traders.

Signature amusement rides will be returning, including a 32 metre high Big Wheel, Helter Skelter and traditional Carousel.
Until 22 Dec. facebook.com/ChristmasMarketGalway/

8.The Mistletoe Market and Frosty Salmon Festival in Ballina.

The Frosty Salmon Christmas Festival returns to Ballina from the 6-23rd of December and promises plenty of festive cheer and seasonal celebrations. Ballina Mistletoe Market is a European style Christmas market which will bring Ballina back to its historic market town origins and will boast a range of local, traditional crafts and artisan food while the festival also boasts a host of concerts, carol singing, street performances at various venues and late night shopping for those last minute gifts.

A major addition to this year’s festival is the inclusion of Ballina on the Coca-Cola National Christmas Truck Tour. Stopping at the Military Barracks in Ballina on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 12, the truck will delight families with its the iconic ‘Holidays are Coming’ jingle, made famous in their Christmas TV adverts. Featuring a glittering winter wonderland setting nestled amongst a festival of lights, visitors will be able to enjoy a can of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Original Taste while enjoying exclusive photography opportunities and creating magical memories that will last a lifetime. This year, Coke merchandise will be available to purchase with proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul and each truck tour stop will encourage consumers to recycle their cans, in line with Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste global commitment to collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one sold by the year 2030.
Irish Rail’s Polar Express Christmas Train runs on three dates this year – December 8, 15 and 22. Once again this special hour-long trip to Manulla and back with Santa and Mrs Claus on board promises to be a truly memorable experience for children of all ages. Tickets are now on sale from Ballina Train Station priced at €12.50 per person.
northmayo.ie

Strandhill Christmas Market9 Strandhill People’s Market, Sligo Airport, Strandhill

Strandhill People’s Market, now in its fifth year, opened its Christmas market last Friday, 08 December. Based in the unique surrounds of Sligo Airport’s Hangar, the market has become one of the biggest along the Wild Atlantic Way with over 50 stalls to choose from on each date.

The organisers behind the family-friendly venue are constantly looking for new ways to expand its audience and make it an event for everyone to enjoy.
This December, they’ve brought back late-night opening at the market – it’s on every Friday leading up to Christmas.
The market has already proven to have had a significant economic impact on the surrounding area, creating employment, generating visitor spend, and making a substantial contribution to the winter economy in Sligo.

Details: December 2, 9, 14-16, 21-23, strandhillpeoplesmarket.ie

galway food tours10. Galway Food Tours Christmas Gift Tours

Shopping local has never been as important, and it is the best way of finding that novel and unique gift. So, Galway Food Tours (GFT) have teamed up with Galway institutions including McCambridges, My Shop Granny Likes it, Tigh Neachtains, Pálás Arthouse Cinema and The Tasting Room (America Village Apothecary) to offer the best food tours with the best local produce. More here.

 

 

atlantic economic corridor

Atlantic Economic Corridor: €500k funding announced for the Western Development Commission (WDC)

Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, and Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, today (10 December 2018), announced additional funding of €500,000 for the Western Development Commission (WDC) to support the work of the Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative and to maximise the use of the Western Investment Fund which provides financing for micro-enterprises and SMEs in the Western region.

Speaking at a meeting of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, Minister Canney said: “The AEC project is a collaborative initiative, with public and private stakeholders working together to develop the strengths and assets of the cities and towns along our western seaboard, from Donegal to Kerry.”

“The aim of the project is to connect the economic clusters and catchment areas of the region to attract investment, support job creation and improve the quality of life of the people who live there.  The project is overseen by the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce, which I chair, involving key stakeholders from the public and private sectors who share a common vision for the growth of the region.“

Minister Canney continued: “As the AEC initiative develops and grows, the importance of strengthening the collaboration between stakeholders and in communicating our message is paramount.   I have therefore asked the Western Development Commission to take on a co-ordinating role to support the work of the AEC Taskforce and its Subgroups. The support and knowledge that the WDC can bring to the AEC project at regional level will be invaluable to my Department and to the development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor project as a whole.”

To support the WDC in this work, Minister Ring said: “With Minister Canney, I have secured €500,000 in additional funding for the WDC for 2019, which will help them to strengthen their resources, both to support the AEC project and to maximise the impact of the Western Investment Fund which provides investment for micro-enterprises and SMEs in the Western region.  I want to thank the Board and Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission for agreeing to carry out this new AEC coordination role and my Department looks forward to working closely with the Commission to help deliver on the AEC’s objectives.”

The announcement comes just weeks after projects based in the AEC region secured €50 million in investment from three Government funds to support rural and urban regeneration and enterprise development.

Tomás Ó Síocháin, Chief Executive Officer of the WDC, said: “There is significant alignment between the work of the Atlantic Economic Corridor and the goal of the Western Development Commission in building a sustainable future for vibrant communities. The work of the AEC Taskforce will benefit the full length of the western seaboard. The WDC, in co-ordinating business, state and community effort, can bring the benefit of 20 years of investment, development and policy experience to bear in helping the AEC to become a globally competitive region of scale.”

More at atlanticeconomiccorridor.ie

landing space sligo

IDA Ireland Launches ‘The Landing Space’ in Sligo

IDA Ireland, in partnership with IT Sligo and Sligo County Council, have today officially opened a new fast landing property solution. The establishment of IDA Ireland’s first fast landing service at Embankment House, Sligo, to be known as ‘The Landing Space’, will provide an open plan, turnkey collaborative working environment for companies who wish to quickly and easily establish operations in the North West region. It is the latest strategic initiative by IDA Ireland to increase investments in regional locations by enhancing and highlighting the specific property attributes of individual regional urban centres.

Sligo is home to leading life science companies such as Phibro, Abbvie, and Abbott as well as tech companies LiveTiles, Overstock and E3 Retail.  These international brands help attract additional overseas companies to potentially locate to the Sligo area.

Attending today’s launch, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs, and Digital Development Seán Canney said: “Sligo has benefitted greatly in recent months from the arrival of global companies like Phibro, LiveTiles and E3 Retail. It’s proof that everything that global companies require to establish and scale up their operations can be found here – such as talent, services, and infrastructure. The addition of this new fast landing space is another strong attractor, adding greatly to what Sligo has to offer. I congratulate all involved in developing this space. All of these developments also add to the work of the Atlantic Economic Corridor strategy as set out in the National Development Plan.”

IDA Ireland’s Executive Director Mary Buckley said: “This top quality, turn-key property adds significantly to the value proposition we can offer clients and will greatly assist our efforts to attract inward investment to Sligo.  The collaborative work of all local stakeholders represented here today, including IT Sligo and Sligo County Council, is really important and demonstrates that creating an attractive location for investment benefits greatly from a team approach.”

The availability of skilled workers and graduates in Sligo to service the North West’s growing international client base has greatly benefitted the region.  Commenting at the launch Dr. Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo said: “IT Sligo is delighted to be partnering with the IDA and Sligo County Council in providing this new facility for Sligo-based companies. This initiative will add to our on-campus incubation facility offering, which currently houses over 30 companies, allowing us to build on our extensive suite of enterprise and entrepreneur supports. These new office facilities will provide a soft-landing base for companies establishing a permanent presence in Sligo”

The location of Sligo as a destination for people in search of challenging careers and a positive work-life balance is well acknowledged as Ciaran Hayes, CEO, Sligo County Council said: “The availability of a fast Landing Space in the heart of Sligo contributes to a much sought-after quality of life where you can avail of 1 Gigabit broadband connection in an attractive urban centre, yet be only 10 minutes from surfing the Wild Atlantic Way or availing of the many mountain or coastal walks in the land of hearts desire.”

Gigabit Hub at the Landing Space
Siro and Vodafone are supporting The Landing Space with the provision of Gigabit connectivity, the most powerful broadband available in Ireland, as it becomes the latest participant in Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps or Megabits per second) broadband connection to qualifying business hubs in regional towns. Companies based in The Landing Space will benefit from the same level of broadband connectivity as available in leading international hubs such in locations like Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Speaking at the launch, Vodafone’s Enterprise Director, Regina Moran said: “I’m delighted to announce today that, through the SIRO Vodafone partnership, we have reached yet another significant milestone in terms of providing connectivity to regional areas of Ireland.

“The Gigabit Hub initiative is providing vital infrastructure at pace across the country and in doing so is helping to promote regional parts of Ireland as destinations for international business. These hubs will create employment opportunities for the people of Sligo and surrounding communities and help to stimulate the local economy. We very much look forward to seeing the ambition we established two years ago support the local people and businesses in Sligo in the most tangible way, as they look to compete irrespective of location.”

SIRO CEO John Keaney added: “The Landing Space is the latest example of how SIRO is reversing the digital divide in Ireland by giving Sligo the same level of world-class broadband connectivity as Tokyo and Hong Kong. Doing business online is fundamental for every business today, from start-ups, SMEs to large multinationals.  Our 1 Gigabit service is now available to 200,000 homes and businesses around Ireland and clients of Landing Space companies won’t be able to tell the difference whether they are based on the West Coast of the United States or the West Coast of Ireland when they log on. As a result, when the next Google or Microsoft decides to open an office in Ireland, Sligo will be as appealing as Dublin.”

More from IDA Ireland here.

armistice day sligo

Call-Out for Volunteers to participate in Armistice Day Memorial in Sligo

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11th to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

An estimated 5000 men from Sligo, (or of immediate Sligo origin) were volunteers during the Great War. Building on war records research by Sligo historian Simone Hickey currently details 602 of these men lost their lives during the conflict or subsequently because of the injuries they suffered. Five civilians including two women also perished.

Sligo’s Blue Raincoat Theatre company is now seeking men and women to join in their silent procession through Sligo town on November 11th. It will be a non-political event, no emblems, and non-militaristic in nature, a dignified community remembrance for the first time of 602 young men who were lost to Sligo in the First World War, 100 years on from the final moment of that conflict. Each participant in the walk will represent an individual casualty on the day. Women and men are welcome to walk.

How To Participate:

If you can take part the process is simple. Register at The Factory Performance Space on Saturday, November 10th from 10am – 6pm. You will be given the name and some historic details of the soldier you will represent on the walk, as well as a costume, and costume advice.

More on the Blue Raincoat Theatre Facebook Page

life is sligo

Sligo’s business community film promotes winning work/life balance in North West

A new mini-film is part of a campaign encouraging people to think of Sligo in a new way – as the perfect place to carve out a rewarding career and enjoy a great life.

The ‘Life is Sligo’ film combines footage from workplaces with gorgeous shots of the many places and locations where people work, eat, drink, exercise and unwind.

With Sligo enjoying something of ‘a moment’ in recent times thanks to positive jobs announcements, the film captures that sense of fresh possibility.

Life is Sligo was commissioned by Sligo Chamber of Commerce, with content agency StoryLab overseeing its making. Martina Durac and Julien Behal of Phoenix produced and directed the film. They brought in their long-time collaborator and IFTA-nominated cinematographer Paddy Jordan to shoot the film. Amongst other awards, Paddy has been nominated for his work on the hit RTE/BBC comedy ‘Young Offenders’.

The promo is accompanied by music from acclaimed club DJs ‘Brame and Hamo’ who are based in Berlin but are originally from Sligo. The pair had one of the dance hits of the summer with a track called ‘Roy Keane, which accompanies the promo.

‘Life is Sligo’ captures scenes from inside schools, colleges and numerous businesses– including shops, tech and pharma companies and start-ups in co-working hubs. Footage also includes the county’s stunning coastline, food and drink and entertainment as well as streetscapes and faces of the people who live there.

Commenting, Sligo Chamber of Commerce CEO Aidan Doyle said:

“People know Sligo is a lovely place to visit but people often ask, what is Sligo like as a place to work and live? The aim of the film is to showcase Sligo as a destination for people in search of challenging careers and that elusive work/life balance. With Life is Sligo, we have captured that mix. Sligo now offers jobs and skilled positions that once only ever existed in the bigger cities. We have an affordable lifestyle for people of all ages and stages of life, whether they are young single people, couples or families. Life is for living and Life is Sligo. It captures that perfectly. This film provides a modern snapshot of Sligo from a business perspective. It gives people a strong visual sense of the place that we are lucky to call home.”

Sligo Chamber of Commerce received support for the project from local agencies and employers. The film is available for use to anyone promoting Sligo.

Twitter: #LifeIsSligo

Top 10 Things to do in the West of Ireland this Halloween

Autumn is officially here; despite lamenting the passing of an incredible summer we are definitely enjoying the beautiful blue skies and mellow fruitfulness Autumn brings to the West.

With the October bank holiday and Halloween just around the corner, we thought it would be useful to highlight just some of the great festivals and events taking place across the West over the coming weeks.

westival website

1. Westival, Westport Music and Arts Festival, Co Mayo

We are beyond excited to see the brilliant line-up for Westival (Westport Music and Arts Festival ) which in Westport, Co Mayo runs from Wednesday October 24 to Monday October 29, incorporating the Halloween Bank Holiday Weekend.

Westival takes pride in being an Autumnal-Halloween-festival of comfort, many of the events take place during the long evenings, around open hearths of softly-lit rooms, or during dusk where the imagination can play part in interpreting the world with magic and intrigue.

Le Galaxie and Lisa Hannigan lead the line-up for the first ‘Westival’ festival in County Mayo. 24-29 Oct, Westport Co Mayo. westival.ie

 

burren food fayre

2. Co Clare: Burren Food Fayre
The Burren Food Fayre kicks off for another year on October Bank Holiday weekend. With Food demos, Farmer’s Market, Burren Bellini & Best stall competition and delicious local, artisan and Wild Food. The theme for this years Fayre is “Taste Without Waste”. The Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna, 28 Oct burren.ie/event/burren-food-fayre-4/

3.  Galway City: Macnas Street Festival

The annual Hallowe’en parade by Macnas (who celebrate their 32nd anniversary this year), will take place on Sunday 28th October 2018 at approximately 5.30pm. The narrative theme of this year’s parade is ‘Out of the Wild Sky’ which celebrates the act of transformation being unleashed upon the city by bringing a world that is hypnotic, intoxicating, mysterious and filled with shadowy and noble things. Expect signature Macnas giant creations and sculptural images, pyrotechnics, bespoke costumes, and epic performances to live and original music. Street-hopping, traffic-stopping excitement and chaos will be orchestrated by the hundreds of performers from the Macnas Young Ensemble, Youth Ballet West, the Macnas Youth Drummers, The Hit Machine and the Public participation programme. Spectators are encouraged to wear costumes too. Galway City, 28 Oct, macnas.com

4. Sligo Town: Sligo Live Festival

Sligo Live celebrates folk, roots, and indie music. Over the years it has carved out a niche as a relaxed, intimate and enjoyable music festival, attracting visitors from all over Ireland and abroad. Sligo Live is one of the most relaxed, friendly and enjoyable music festivals in Europe, having hosted major international and Irish folk, roots and indie artists in intimate indoor venues for 12 years. Headliners this year include the Boomtown Rats, Lisa Hannigan and Saint Sister. Sligo, 24-29 Oct, sligolive.ie

5. ‘Gaeilge Galore ar an Turas Mór’, Sligo

Ceolteoirí Tireragh wishes to preserve and promote the Irish language by undertaking a bus tour of historical sites in the West Sligo region, with an emphasis on the Irish language throughout the journey and sites.

The ‘Gaeilge Galore ar on Turas Mor’ bus tour departs on Monday 29th October, leaving Dromore West Community Centre and visiting six historical sites in the West Sligo area. This event is free to join. Conversation takes place in Irish along the way, with information given at each site and refreshments and an Irish music and song session to end the event. Dromore West, Sligo, 29 Oct. To book a place call 086 876 5545 after 6pm.

carrowmore halloween6. Samhain Sunrise at Carrowmore, Co Sligo

Celebrate the changing of seasons with sunrise at Carrowmore Megalithic tombs in Sligo. The Carromore complex of passage graves dates back to 3,700 BC.

Samhain means Summers End and is also the start of Winter, which starts on November 1st.   The changing of the season is marked in Carrowmore; this is also the last day of our season. All are welcome on October 31, but you need to get there early. 31 Oct, Sligo. facebook.com/carrowmoreopw/

7. Haunted House at Westport House, Co Mayo

Are you ready to scare yourself silly this Halloween?!

Westport House will be hosting it’s annual Halloween Fest from 20th and 21st October as well as the 27th to the 31st of October from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

Get ready for plenty of ghoulish delights, scary stories and creepy fun that all the family will be able to enjoy!

  • Head to the Haunted Estate House, transformed into a spooky old mansion for Halloween Fest.
  • Gather ‘round the cauldron for Scary Story Time, with wicked tales from the White Witch of Westport.
  • Brave souls can visit the dark dungeons, where the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley locked up her prisoners.
  • Carve a creepy pumpkin* and decorate some ghoulish goblin cakes at the Spooky Spoons Workshop.
  • Get your Michael Jackson zombie moves on at the Thriller Dance Class.

Westport House, Westport, Co Mayo westporthouse.ie/halloweenfest

8. Kinlough People’s Market, Co Leitrim

The Kinlough peoples Market is a new venture, and has had it’s first very successful market, but getting into the spirit of things they are now presenting a new Halloween Market, with their wide range of products shown and the ‘Fairy Forest’ for the kids it is a day out for all the Family.

With the Halloween market on the 28th of October, the market will continue on regularly on the last Sunday of each month. 28 Oct, Kinlough, Co Leitrim. facebook.com/kinloughpeoplesmarket/

9. Castle Adventure Open Farm Spook Fest, Co Donegal

Family Halloween Event at Castle Adventure Open Farm. Kids haunted House, Face painting, storytelling, spooky disco and much more.

No Booking Required.

lough key halloween10. Lough Key Halloween Spook Fest

A wide variety of fantastic activities will be running from 27th October – 2nd November for the whole family to enjoy this Halloween at Lough Key

All activities are open for the week with some being weather permitted

Join Lough Key this Halloween for the ‘Spoooky Scenes’ in the visitor centre, all the adventures at the Adventure Play Kingdom, the Tree Canopy Trial, the Zipit Forest Adventure, splashy fun at Lough Key Boat Tours and many more fun activities and adventures. An experience like no other for this Halloween. 27 Oct – 02 Nov. Lough Key Forest Park, Co Roscommon. loughkey.ie

 

 

 

Sligo

100 New Jobs in Sligo as Overstock to expand Development Centre

E-commerce and technology leader Overstock.com, Inc.announces plans to expand its European base in Sligo, Ireland, creating 100 new research and development roles and more than tripling the office’s current headcount.

The new full-time positions will include junior and senior roles in areas such as software development and testing, machine learning, and data analytics.

Overstock, which was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Utah, features a $2 billion online retail shopping website, as well as a wholly-owned blockchain accelerator subsidiary, Medici Ventures. The company has pioneered the development of disruptive technologies across several disciplines including e-commerce, machine learning, augmented reality, and blockchain.

Commenting, Overstock founder and CEO Dr. Patrick M. Byrne said, “Overstock has been at the forefront of developing technology to make our customers’ lives easier, and our Sligo tech teams have been crucial to that effort over the past five years. I’m excited to soon welcome so many more talented technologists from Ireland to the Overstock family.”

Welcoming the new expansion by Overstock, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said, “I am delighted to see the expansion of Overstock and the creation of 100 highly skilled R&D jobs. It has been a tremendous year for Sligo in terms of enterprise development and this announcement reiterates the Government’s commitment under the Regional Action Plans for Jobs to ensure we have the right conditions in place to encourage the creation of quality jobs in the regions.”

CEO, IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan welcomed the announcement saying, “IDA is committed to winning investments for regional locations across Ireland and the North West Border Region is a key area of focus for us. It is great to see such an ambitious high-growth company like Overstock expanding their operations in Sligo. This significant expansion clearly illustrates the confidence Overstock has in the region’s talented workforce to drive the company’s international growth. This announcement comes on the back of a number of positive FDI investments for Sligo in recent months. I wish Overstock every success with its operations here and assure them of IDA Ireland’s continued support.”

Overstock established its Sligo office in 2013, and the facility currently employs 40 technologists. The location on the scenic Wild Atlantic Way was selected for the burgeoning tech community, easy access to outdoor activities, affordable cost of living, and easy commuting times, especially when compared to other centres such as Dublin.

Overstock offers its employees’ opportunities for both career progression and continuous learning. The company was recently recognized as one of the best companies in the areas of work-life balance, perks and benefits, and as one of the best CEOs for diversity.

Qualified individuals interested in learning more about the technology openings at the Sligo office of Overstock.com, can meet the company at Tech on the Wild Atlantic Way, presented by Career Zoo, on Friday, October 12 at The Model in Sligo. A dedicated train will bring interested technologists from Dublin to Sligo for the conference.

More on the Career Zoo Tech Train here.