Hospitality and Community Development Group Representatives and members of Ballinasloe MDC and Athlone MDC and Roscommon MDC attended this year’s National Suck Valley conference themed around “Inspiring Rural Creativity”.
The two-day event delivered an exciting line-up of guest speakers, along with live performances showcasing the talent found in the rural Irish midlands.
With the success of the inaugural Suck Valley Conference last year focusing on rural regeneration in the post pandemic, the follow-up event was organized by Chairperson of Suck Valley Way Cllr Anthony Waldron, with support from Roscommon Leader and Roscommon County Council. The event served to highlight the potential of Roscommon and East Galway to promote the region for regeneration and rural creativity.
It proved another welcome bridging point between Senior area leaders and Councilors to build on their agreed agenda of work that started in Gullanes Hotel in Spring with inaugural joint meetings of the Councilors and Officials from South Roscommon and East Galway.
Gleeson’s Townhouse, Market Square was the venue for day one with guest speakers including Cllr Waldron, Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council Shane Tiernan, President of the Association of Irish Local Government Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick, ‘Join Our Boys Trust’ Founder Paula Naughton and Senator Tom Clonan. The first sessions had a particular emphasis on the performing arts focusing on recognition and funding for music therapy for those with disabilities.
The Abbey Hotel, on day two was kicked off by Galway Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher and Cllr Anthony Waldron, with an open discussion following regarding Youth Participation in Rural Areas. Irish playwright, novelist and columnist Michael Harding was spoke about the concept of “Belonging” to a region. Other discussions on the day included examining Rural Tourism, the diminishing role of the county council, and protecting rural landscape and community.
Among the representatives of Ballinasloe in attendance included Cathaoirleach Cllr Dr. Evelyn Parsons, Counsellor Declan Geraghty and Tidy Towns Heritage Officer Padraig Lyons.
Cllr Parsons was delighted to attend the conference sharing: “Stimulating content and contributions over two days from excellent speakers. Well done to independent colleague Cllr Anthony Waldron for his diligent work in organising this National Conference and keeping a focus on rural regeneration, especially around the Suck Valley Way in Roscommon East Galway.
Padraig Lyons commented on the unique prospects of developing the Suck Valley region stating he was “Delighted to see the first citizens of Galway and Roscommon sitting side by side fully supporting these new co - operation developments.”
Cllr Waldron thanked all the contributors to the conference concluding: “We work closely with our friends over in County Galway at the Ballinasloe Municipal District, and Athlone and Roscommon Municipal District in developing the tourism and the enterprise in the totality of our inter county region”.
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