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Ennis Players need new premises

POPULAR local drama group Ennis Players are facing a potential crisis in the coming months, as they are set to be left without a premises. Explaining the situation, Arthur Forde, who first became involved with the Players in the late 1970s, said, “We’re sort of homeless at the moment. The property boom has meant that if a place is at all useful in a commercial way, it’s gone. “We’ve been in various places, various halls, various pieces of property around. We had a unit out in the Quin Road industrial estate, but that was always just a temporary stop-gap. As soon as it became needed, we were to be on our bike.” The group have been there for the last two years but are due to vacate the premises this October. Arthur says that, while the group would not be very particular, there are certain things that would be helpful. “It has to be reasonably high anyway. We need the …

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Irish College awaiting fire safety inspection

A fire inspection at Coláiste Eoghain Uí Chomhraidhe in Carrigaholt was due to take place on Wednesday evening, to determine if the 105-year-old building can open for its August intake of students on Sunday. Fifty children have enrolled for a two-week course in the Irish language from Sunday until August 13. Following concerns over fire safety, the college was forced to close in early June and all 25 students had to return home. There were no July classes but significant maintenance work has taken place in the intervening weeks. Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, college principal Domhnall Ó Loingsigh said that Clare County Council was due to carry out a fire safety inspection, which would determine the immediate future of the historic college, which is located on the Shannon Estuary. The June and July closure was the first in the college’s history. “The council fire safety inspectors are the people who laid down the requirements and we’re following their recommendations to …

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Clearning the ballroom in Lisdoonvarna

WORK is underway in Lisdoonvarna on creating a historical exhibition in the ballroom of the Spa Wells. The aim is to show how the town developed from the discovery of the different wells in the mid-1700s right up to modern times. Lisdoonvarna Historical Society is behind the project and will be using photographs, prints and arterfacts to try and bring history to life. Pat Dowling is chairman of the group and he said, “It’s a work in progress at the moment. We got a small grant from Leader so we decided we will put up 20 roll-up banners, put on some of the high-resolution photographs. There are some super photographs, both in the National Library and some of the ones we have ourselves. We’re going to have some display trays and a bit of memorabilia in general from the Spa Wells and the town as well.” The group already has a fair bit of work done and Pat is hopeful …

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Dollard to lead greyhound board

The new CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Bord na gCon, is Gerard Dollard, currently assistant chief executive and director of economic development with Clare County Council. Next September, he will take over as head of the Irish semi-state body, which is responsible for regulating and promoting greyhound racing in Ireland since 1958. Having spent the past 35 years with the local authority, he is stepping down from his Clare County Council position, which includes responsibility for economic development, tourism and planning in the municipal district of Ennis. A native of Limerick city, Mr Dollard has close connections with Clare, as both his parents, now deceased, were from the county. His father, Patrick, was from Erinagh, Fountain, and his mother was Mary Murphy from The Hand. He was also related to the late Sean Ó Murchú, the widely-known county council planning officer officer for many years. Mr Dollard commenced his local authority career with Limerick Corporation and, after 15 years, …

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50 years of swimming lessons at Lough Granery

FOR 50 years, children have been learning to swim and lifesave in Lough Graney, thanks to a community initiative supported by Irish Water Safety Clare. On Saturday, July 29, the thousands of people who learned to swim will be invited back to the shores of Lough Graney to celebrate this milestone. To mark the occasion, the community will run a number of free, water-based activities. On the day, two locals who both participated in the swimming lessons, Ken Collins and John O’Mara, will take to the water to show off their skills, as part of a charity swim, in aid of Raheen Hospice. Each year, the swimming lessons take place over the last two weeks in July and between 50 and 60 children partake each week. People come from all over East Clare and South Galway to join in and learn how to swim. This annual event has been made possible by a team of dedicated local volunteers, including Kathleen …

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Council urged to take over SkyCourt

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Plans for Ennis housing development withdrawn

A question mark has been placed over whether or not a multi-million euro private housing developments proposed for Ennis will proceed in the future. Abadair Investments Limited has withdrawn plans for the construction of 148 residential units at Ballymacaula, Keelty and Drumbiggle, Circular Road, Ennis from the local planning authority. The developer had applied for planning permission to build 60 detached houses, 82 semi-detached houses and six terrace houses, ancillary surface car parking, crèche, ancillary outdoor play area, staff car parking area and drop-off zone; vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist access to the proposed development via a new junction on Circular Road. It also included plans for traffic calming measures on Circular Road; connection to existing public water supply; surface water drainage services as well as the provision of a surface water attenuation pond and treatment of surface waters prior to outfall; proposed foul drainage network, which comprises of the construction of a foul water pumping station with emergency storage and …

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FF leader to head de Valera commemoration

THE 100th anniversary of the election of Éamon de Valera at the 1917 East Clare By-Election will be marked by a series of commemorative events in Ennis later this month. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Síle de Valera, grand-daughter of de Valera and former Clare TD, will attend the events planned for Saturday, July 22. The commemorative events will take place at the Old Ground Hotel at 2pm and will include lectures from noted historians, music by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éíreann and a photographic and election memorabilia exhibition. Deputy Martin will make an address to the audience. Following the activities in the hotel, a full dress parade, led by a brass band, will march, led by Micheál Martin and Síle DeValera, from the Old Ground Hotel to the O’Connell Monument – the site of some of Éamon de Valera’s most famous speeches. At the O’Connell monument, there will be a re-enactment of the announcement of the election of de Valera, …

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