June 16, 2023
European Parliament Regional Development Committee Chair Visits Sligo

European Parliament Regional Development Committee Chair Visits Sligo
Chair of the European Parliament Regional Development Committee, Younous Omarjee MEP, recently visited Sligo at the invitation of Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest. Omarjee was visiting on a fact-finding mission to examine how the EU can play a positive role in addressing regional imbalance in Ireland.

MacManus and Omarjee met with officials from Sligo County Council on O’Connell Street to view the results of the enhancement project on the Street, which was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). They also visited the site of the new AIM Centre in Sligo with its Director, Julie Dowling, which is still under construction.

Speaking afterwards, MEP Omarjee said:
“I am pleased to be in Ireland this week at the invitation of my colleague, Chris MacManus, in my capacity as Chair of the European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee. I am here to meet with regional stakeholders, examine the positive role EU funding has played in the Northern and Western region, and to discuss how the EU can contribute towards addressing the decline of the west and northwest of Ireland.

“I am pleased to see the positive impact that ERDF funding has had on O’Connell Street in Sligo town centre. It is a very positive example of the role EU funding can play in benefitting local communities and improving people’s lives.

“The AIM Centre is a very exciting project, which will advance manufacturing technonology and provide enormous benefits for companies across this region. Initiatives such as this are crucial for the development of regions, and I am hopeful that the new Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme, co-funded by the ERDF, can benefit and assist the AIM Centre in their work going forward.

MEP MacManus said:
“I am pleased to welcome Younous Omarjee to Ireland this week. He chairs a very powerful Committee in the European Parliament, which is especially important for us here in the west of Ireland given the need for European funding to address infrastructural deficits in our region.

“The O’Connell Street Enhancement Project has resulted in a number of changes being made in our town centre, which has made it more accessible to pedestrians and has reduced congestion. It has been a very important project and I’m pleased to see European funding having a positive impact in my hometown.

“The AIM Centre is an exciting, innovative project which involves the ATU and STEM sector working together, helping local businesses in our region to access new facilities and technologies. It will provide a major boost to the entire north-west, and is the kind of initiative that will be key in addressing regional imbalance. Crucially, it will provide graduates with an opportunity to live and work in our region.

“I would like to thank Younous Omarjee for taking the time to visit these very important projects. I will continue to work with him and others in the European institutions to ensure that the West and Northwest of Ireland receives it fair share of investment going forward. ENDS
See attached photograph at the AIM Centre site of (L-R): Younous Omarjee MEP, Julie Dowling (AIM Centre Director) and Chris MacManus MEP
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See attached photograph from O’Connell Street, Sligo of (L-R): Younous Omarjee MEP, Brian Flynn (Town Regeneration Officer), Niall McGrath (Executive Engineer), Chris MacManus MEP
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