On Friday last Sligo was treated to a most memorable night in City Hall as it handed over the baton of European Capital of Volunteering to Aarhus, Denmark. Sligo had been nominated following successful hostings of the honour by London, Barcelona and Paris.
Following speeches by Council Cathaoirleach (Leader) Seamus Kilgannon, Marian Harkin MEP, Ciara Hegarty - Manager of Sligo Volunteer Centre, Hans Schou a member of the Aarhus City Council thanked Sligo for their role and accepted the honour of hosting the 2018 volunteering capital award.
The end of Sligo's year long reign was brought to an end with an evening of delightful music written by Michael Rooney and performed by Niamh Crowley's Sligo Academy of Music.
The Winner of the European Volunteering Capital 2019 was announced as Košice, Slovakia, who beat entries from Germany and Portugal.
Cathaoirleach Seamus Kilgannon (second from left) accompanied by Sligo Council's CEO Ciarán Hayes (L) makes a presentation to the Danish delegation led by Councillor Hans Schou (second from right)
In an outside ceremony the town's Christmas tree was officially switched on and hundreds of spectators were treated to the most spectacular ‘Spirit of Sligo’ light display ever witnessed in here.
The light show will continue each night until 7 December on the hour from 5pm until late and lasts for 10 minutes, definitely not to be missed.
Justice minister Charlie Flanagan was on hand to congratulate the Danish winners and referring to Ireland's recent dumping from the World Cup by Denmark in Dublin's Aviva Stadium quipped that the volunteering accolade 'wasn't the only thing the Danes had taken off us this year'.
Later at the Radisson Blu Sligo the Volunteer Ireland Awards were held.