Updated: 24/06/12 : 09:42:18
The official launch of the Quinn Body Repairs – Sligo Park hotel / Rally 2012 (Saturday July 7th) took place on Thursday evening last amidst a large gathering including the organising committee, the rally sponsors, local public representatives and members of the media, on the grounds of Sligo Park Hotel.
Paul Kiely, Clerk of the course, commended the efforts of the support team which have put a lot of time and effort into the planning of Sligo Stages Rally. He also paid tribute to the title sponsors for their loyalty, Sligo Park, who has been supporting the event nearing thirty years, and Quinn Body Repairs in their fourth year of Sligo Stages.
Paul, on behalf of the rally committee paid recognition to the stage sponsors, Gulf, Gusclad and Sasta for their vital support also.
The chairman of Connacht Motor Club, Joe Gilgan complimented the efforts of his fellow club members who have tirelessly dedicated a lot of personal time in the planning stage of the event. Joe also acknowledged the support the Motor club receives from local businesses and bodies who assist in advance and on the day of the event. He particularly conveyed a special thanks to the residents on the route of the stages for their acceptance and understanding on road closing and the allowing of spectators to enter their lands to facilitate safe viewing.
Representatives of both title sponsors were present on the night, Monica Tighe was there to represent Quinn Body Repairs & Recovery and Auther O Dea represented Sligo Park Hotel.
Stage Sponsors were also represented, Ian Gunning for Gusclad, Aisling Lowe for Sasta Fitness, and apologies were received from Dermot Fallon of Gulf Oils.
Mayor Roseleen O Grady, in one of last official duties in her term as Mayor, spoke of her admiration of the voluntary commitment from a small number of people who work to bring an event like Sligo Stages Rally to fruition. She wished every competitor a safe and enjoyable event as she recalled the euphoria surrounding the WRC back in2009.
Cars on display on the evening were that of Ian Gunning, a stage sponsor, who recently debuted his newly built Escort at an event in Portlaoise in preparation for his home event, Sligo Stages Rally. John F Golden brought along his Peugeot 206 which he will drive in Sligo in the important role as 00 Safety cars throughout the rally.
Also present at the launch was local business man , Andrew Mullen who through his business , Sligo Pallets sponsors the Border Rally Championship wished Sligo Stages the best , an event he will also compete on , carrying the No 21 on the door to honour the Championships 21st year.The previous round , the Newry & Mourne rally he finished a credible 2nd Overall , having set fastest stage time on the majority of stages .
Tony Mc Loughlin TD attending the launch said he was very conscious of the benefits which events like Sligo Stages Rally contribute to the local economy.