Her Excellency Ambassador of Chile, Ms. Carla Serazzi visited the offices of Sligo County Council on Tuesday 28th September and was welcomed by Mayor Councillor Arthur Gibbons and Chief Executive Martin Lydon.
Chilean Ambassador visits Sligo - her first official visit outside the capital
Middle row: MEP Chris MacManus and Chief Executive Martin Lydon;
Front row: Mayor Councillor Arthur Gibbons, Ambassador of Chile, Ms Carla Serazzi, pictured at City Hall, Sligo on the occasion of the Ambassador’s visit to Sligo
Attending the reception in the Mayor’s Parlour, City Hall were MEP Chris McManus, Councillors Declan Bree and Thomas Walsh and Director of Services, Ms. Dorothy Clarke.
In his address, Mayor Gibbons said
‘As our society gradually emerges from Covid restrictions and embraces normality, it is a special privilege that one of my first official duties is to welcome the Ambassador of Chile to City Hall. There is a very strong association between Sligo and Chile, focused on the fascinating figure of Bernardo O'Higgins. His story and that of his father Ambrose have been well documented and treasured by people in our respective countries.’
Ambassador Serazzi said
‘This is my first official visit outside of Dublin, and it is not a coincidence that my first visit is precisely to Sligo, for the importance that Sligo has to Chile.’
She expressed her great pride in the Irish–Chilean connection through Ambrose O’Higgins and his son Bernardo, Chile’s Founding Father and Liberator. She highlighted the opportunities for collaboration in areas such as science, economics and business, as well as research, vocational training, community development, sport and culture.
The Ambassador’s visit will be used to further develop friendship between Chile and Sligo. There is enormous potential in exploring exchanges in diverse areas, whether in industry, sport, arts, heritage or community. In May 2006, the Mayor of Sligo, Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady, visited Illapel, in Chile, bringing greetings from the people of Sligo. In June 2008, a Chilean delegation was received in Sligo by the chairman of Sligo County Council, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon, and Mayor Jonathan McGoldrick.
The Ambassador and Mayor laid wreathes at the monuments to the O'Higgins in the Stephen Street Car Park in Sligo.
The name of Bernardo O’Higgins lives on in Chile through the football team that bears his name. It is a connection recognised and valued by Sligo Rovers. The Ambassador’s visit to Sligo concluded with a visit to Sligo Rovers Outdoor Museum where she was welcomed by Chairman of Sligo Rovers Tommy Higgins.
The Mayor presented the Ambassador with a Book on Yeats and engraved medal to mark the occasion.