Official Opening with the President of Ireland Mary McAleese
On 17th September 2001 the small, beautiful village of Riverstown in South-East Sligo, was the venue for the Official Opening of Sligo Folk Park, Sligo’s latest visitor and tourist attraction. The Opening Ceremony was performed by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.
On the day, people from the region and beyond were not only celebrating the opening of this unique new visitor facility, but it was also a celebration of an Irish Head of State visiting Riverstown for the first time ever.
The project, which was initiated some 10 years ago by a small group of enthusiastic, courageous and forward-looking members of the Riverstown Community, has now been completed to what is one of the region’s largest and finest visitor facilities.
From its very beginnings, the Directors of Riverstown Enterprise Development (Sligo) Ltd. had intended to help the area to combat high unemployment and subsequent rural depopulation by setting up a number of FAS Training and Community Employment Schemes, initially with the aim to enhance the village.
Through the years then, the long-term plans of the company became more ambitious and subsequently proposals were presented to various funding organisations to establish a rural-life and heritage attraction. Funding agencies, public bodies and the people of Riverstown appreciated the value of such a facility and supported Riverstown Enterprise with the construction of two purpose-built museum & exhibition halls with provisions for a coffee shop and craft centre.
In addition to these magnificent two new buildings, which enclose a traditional-type court yard the company’s own staff also made significant changes to the landscaping and development of the overall site, including the restoration of the old Millview House, a 19th century 2-storey dwelling which has been beautifully restored.
The opening of Sligo Folk Park, which can be described as a major flagship project for the region will be of great significance to the development of tourism in the area. The opening of this outstanding facility by President McAleese, was not only an honour and the greatest highlight in the village’s history, but it was also the most appropriate way to thank the people of Riverstown and the supporting agencies and individuals for all their help and assistance over the years.
Riverstown Enterprise Development (Sligo) Ltd. is renowned for its very successful Vintage Days and the opening day here was once again a great show for all visitors.
Sligo Folk Park has produced a Commemorative Book celebrating this event. If you wish to order a copy, please contact us at Tel. 071-916 5001 or e-mail us.