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Calling all Clare innovators. Hackaccess is a collaborative competition that invites students and non-students to participate in a hackathon style competition! Clare man Shane Gilligan is part of the organising team and truly believes that some of the ideas that are created during these events can be implemented in towns all across Ireland.

The Sligo community is set to look at ways to make the region more inclusive to people of all abilities. Hack Access Sligo is an innovative event shining the light on accessibility in towns along the West and how it can be improved.

The event originated in Dublin created by its founder Janice Valentine of Great Life Distillery. Two design graduates of IT Sligo, Darren Rooney and Shane Gilligan attended the event in the capital and wanted to bring it to the West.

“The hackathon in Dublin was incredible as it not only made us more aware of the challenges faced by some people in their own community, but we got to do something about it. We decided to bring the event to the North West because we saw the difference it could make to the region. We got together a group of volunteers here who have come together based on our shared vision of accessibility, equality and inclusion for everyone. I believe that the more rural areas of Ireland can too benefit from what we experienced at the event in Dublin” said organiser, Shane Gilligan.

The hackathon will see different teams allocated a challenge they have to ‘hack’ such as obstacles faced by people with varying abilities when it comes to transport, socialising or employment for example and they might come up with anything from an idea for a product to a service or even a campaign to solve these problems. There will be mentors on hand for support and advice and a judging panel to select the best idea. There will be a cash prize for the winner, and it’s hoped, like in Dublin, the winning idea could be implemented in the region.

“It’s not only a phenomenal event but a great opportunity to create awareness in our community when it comes to accessibility as well as look at ways in which we can improve things. Sligo is a hotspot destination for tourists alongside being a great environment for students, families and working professionals. It’s a no brainer that we need to ensure it’s a place that can be easily visited and experienced by everyone, regardless of their ability. That’s what we hope to achieve with Hack Access Sligo.” said Mr. Rooney.

Hosted by IT Sligo, the hackathon will take place from the evening of Friday, February 15th until the evening of Saturday 16th.  Individuals or teams can sign up through the official website Tickets are only €5 and are open to businesses, students, graduates or anyone who wants to get involved.

For more information please contact:

Organiser: Shane Gilligan at 083 192 7329       




Facebook: @HackAccessSl

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