New Chamber of Commerce president shuns chain of office

THE new president of the Strabane Chamber of Commerce has confirmed he won’t be wearing the traditional chain of office.

Martin Gallen who was elected to the post at the chamber’s AGM last month, said the presidential apparel is “outdated” and “opulent”.

“Personally, I would feel stupid wearing something like this, this is a town which has a food bank,” the new president said. “They’re opulent and I’m not into that kind of thing, I’m into making a difference.”

An uillean pipe maker by trade and the owner of his own business, ‘Banba’, Martin Gallen is a previous winner of a number of awards at the Strabane Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

This week he also spoke of his tenure as the new chamber head.

“There’s lots of work to be getting on with,” he said. “A person takes on the role of president for a minimum of a year or a maximum of two years. 

“At this stage I’m thinking that I could do the two years, but we’ll see how it goes.

“I’ve been a member of the chamber for the past three years although I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m looking forward to it.

“The chamber is basically looking to act as the voice of business in the town when it comes to dealing with public bodies like the council.”

“There is strength in numbers,” he continued. 

“The more members there are in a chamber, the more clout we have when we’re dealing with public bodies. 

“It’s harder to ignore a chamber when there are lots of members so of course, I’d be asking people to come along to the meeting next week.”



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