Sligo Grammar School and Mercy College Sligo once again battled it out in the finals of the Europe Day debate held in the Sligo County Council Chamber on the 9th May 2018.
The event was organised by the Europe Direct Information Centre, Sligo whose main focus is to promote the latest news about EU affairs and citizen rights and provide information about the various EU institutions.
This year the two competing schools provided both junior and senior teams to debate the motion ‘This house believes that state funding of the arts and heritage is essential to a civilised society’. This topic was chosen as 2018 is the European year of Cultural heritage and as such EDIC Sligo used Europe Day to raise awareness for this year of events all around Europe to get people interested and involved in cultural heritage.
Cultural heritage shapes our everyday lives. It surrounds us in Europe’s towns and cities, natural landscapes and archaeological sites. It is not only found in literature, art and objects, but also in the crafts we learn from our ancestors, the stories we tell our children, the food we enjoy and the films we watch and recognise ourselves in. Cultural heritage binds Europe together through our common history and values. It also represents the richness and diversity of our cultural traditions. Our shared cultural heritage is to be understood, cherished and celebrated. Yet cultural heritage is not only a legacy from the past. It also helps us forge the way ahead and design our future.
The Mercy college emerged victorious in both the junior and senior competitions although the standard of all four teams were extremely impressive and the judging panel of Ms Siobhan Ryan (heritage officer, Sligo County Council), Mr Tony Monaghan and Mr Eddie McGurrin (Public Speakers Sligo) found it tough to separate the winners.
Whilst the judges deliberated Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Seamus Kilgannon spoke to the assembled audience about the importance of the European year of Cultural heritage and Mr Neil Faulkner, manager at Sligo tourism spoke of the benefits of our heritage and arts for the local region. All present enjoyed the informative speakers and the schools hope to be involved in the competition again in 2019.