Sligo Champion

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Sligo hands over EVC title to city in Denmark

A host of dignitaries and volunteers arrive for closing ceremony ceremonies

Sligo handed over its title as European Volunteer Capital to Aarhus in Denmark last Friday.

At a civic ceremony in City Hall that bookended Sligo's Volunteer Capital year, dignitaries from near and far gathered to witness the handover of the European Volunteer Capital 2018 title to the Danish city of Aarhus.

In addition, the three candidate cities for the 2019 EVC competition were announced with the City of Kosice in Slovakia receiving the 2019 award as European Volunteering Capital.

Justice Minister Charles Flanagan attended the civic ceremony with 150 guests including invited European dignitaries and Sligo County Council Cathaoirleach Sligo Cllr Seamus Kilgannon.

Minister Flanagan was late after paying a visit to Sligo Garda Station to see the conditions of the building for himself.

He's promised to get short-term refurbishment works prioritised and said he wanted to see movement on a decision for a new site for the promised new Garda Station by January.

Guests watch a video presentation by Sligo Volunteer Centre Manager Ciara Herity called 'Sligo EVC 2017: The Story.

MEP Marian Harkin gave an overview of the legacy of Sligo's year as EVC and the European perspective.

Mr Richard Rasi, Mayor of Kosice gave an acceptance speech and all visitors signed the distinguished Visitors Book.

The official hand over of EVC 2018 to Aarhus, Denmark, was presided over by Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Kilgannon who made a presentation to Aarhus.

Member of Aarhus City Council Hans Schou then gave his acceptance speech.

Guests enjoyed a musical performance directed by Michael Rooney entitled 'Sligeach:As Lámha a Chéile' to a backdrop of Volunteer images.

The European Visitors later attend Volunteer Ireland Awards in the Radisson Hotel, Sligo.

The Sligo Champion sponsored the Arts, Culture and Media Volunteer Award which was presented by Sorcha Crowley to Treasa Martin of Ballymun Community.

Treasa has been volunteering in various capacities all her life and shows no sign of slowing down at 90 years of age. She won for bringing the joy of music to many around her through singing, guitar and piano, notably at the local nursing home and her weekly singing with Ballygall church choir.

In a nice twist of fate, Treasa was born and reared near Glencar, County Sligo and many members of her extended family, including daughter Eileen, were there to

see her winning the Award.

"I spent the first 25 years of my life in Sligo," she told this newspaper. "I worked in Denneys for five years, it's a hotel now.

"I grew up near Glencar, my parents were teachers there in Knocknagall school. We went to school in the pony and trap.

She still comes back to Sligo regularly to see her nieces and nephews.

"My daughter gets me The Sligo Champion every week. I keep in touch all the time.

"It's wonderful to win this award, I didn't expect it at all. I don't expect it for what I do. I just like to bring pleasure to people and I can see them opening up when they hear the music," she added.

Sligo Champion