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Ennis

Assault on pregnant woman

AN Ennis man who assaulted his heavily-pregnant partner received a prison sentence at Ennis District Court on Wednesday. The defendant admitted the offence, which occurred on June 27 of last year in Inagh. At the time, the woman was around 28 weeks pregnant. She was brought to the Maternity Hospital for a check-up but the baby was unharmed. The relationship subsequently ended. A three-month sentence was imposed, while a separate drugs-related charge was taken into consideration.

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Ennis a hub of activity

FOOTBALL and hurling fans going to the All-Ireland qualifiers double-header in Cusack Park on Saturday evening will get a flavour of the annual Ennis Street Festival, while crowning a great weekend in the town will be the Clare County Show in the Showgrounds on Sunday. There will be a number of road closures on Saturday as Superintendent Brendan McDonagh explained. “We would ask people to avoid the town centre if they’re going by car, as the streets will be closed from Saturday lunchtime until 6pm. “We would ask people who are going to the matches to arrive early and to watch where they’re parking, not to block entries or park near roundabouts.” The streets will become a hub for children and adults to explore their artistic side and experience many different events over the weekend, with children’s workshops, poetry, theatre, visual arts, comedy, art exhibitions, street entertainment, music and dance. Thousands are also expected to attend the Clare County Show, …

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Gardaí investigate ‘suspicious’ house fire

A GARDA investigation is continuing into the cause of what has been described as a “suspicious” fire in an Ennis housing estate. One house completely destroyed and another very badly damaged at Dún Na hInse, off the Lahinch Road, in the early hours of Saturday morning. The alarm was raised by residents of the estate and when three units of the fire service and a garda patrol rushed to the scene they found the end house of the vacant three house terrace was ablaze and its roof had fallen in. The roof of the adjoining house had also caught fire and caved in but the fire crews managed to bring the blaze under control and prevent it from spreading to the third house. Once the fires had been extinguished, gardaí sealed off the scene pending completion of a technical examination. The remains of the house that had sustained the worst damage was also cordoned off and engineers are expected to …

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A night of nostalgia for St Michael’s residents

Clare Roots Society is to extend its work in publishing and recording the history of the county, after completing its programme in Ennis. Its latest publication, St Michael’s Villas (Ennis) A History and Miscellany, was launched by Mayor of Ennis Johnny Flynn at the Temple Gate Hotel last week. It was a night of nostalgia and storytelling and a great reunion of past and present residents of the estate, which was opened in 1953. It was also a night to recall the names of deceased residents, who were remembered at a special ‘Celebrating Our Story and Remembering Our Dead’ mass in Ennis Cathedral earlier in the evening, celebrated by Fr Tom Ryan, Shannon, a son of St Michael’s. All the speakers at the launch congratauled St Michael’s Villas native Cora McNulty (the former Cora Hahessy), who documented the publication, which captures the history of a strong and vibrant community as well listing the wonderful achievements by many of its residents. Among …

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From ‘Champion to bestsellers list

CLARE-born journalist, Ann O’Loughlin has seen her debut novel, The Ballroom Café, go to number four on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list, even before its official launch in the UK and Ireland last Thursday. The Ballroom Café is set at the height of the recession in Ireland in a crumbling mansion, where two elderly sisters, Ella and Roberta O’Callaghan, live alone with their secrets, memories and mutual hatred. Long estranged by a dark family tragedy, they communicate only by terse notes. But when the sisters are threatened with bankruptcy, Ella defies Roberta’s wishes and takes matters into her own hands, converting the mansion’s old ballroom into a café. Much to Roberta’s displeasure, the café is a hit and the sisters are reluctantly drawn back into village life. But Ella finds herself reliving painful memories, when Debbie, an American woman searching for her birth mother, begins working at the café. The sisters find themselves caught up in an adoption scandal that …

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Pat Daly is new Mayor of Ennis

THE newly elected Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District, Councillor Pat Daly, has expressed his gratitude for the vote of confidence placed in him by the councillors of the district. The Ennis native said he was proud, grateful and humbled at his election, which was unanimously agreed by his colleagues at the annual general meeting of the district council. Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy nominated her Fianna Fáil colleague to be mayor, seconded by independent councillor Ann Norton and supported by councillors Mary Howard, James Breen, Paul Murphy and the outgoing mayor, Johnny Flynn. Councillor Tom McNamara sent his apologies for not being able to attend the AGM, as he is recovering from an operation at present but he also supported his Fianna Fáil colleague. Councillor Mary Howard was elected as deputy mayor. In his opening address, Councillor Daly noted, “I once had the honour to be named Mayor of Clare but to be named mayor of my own town is …

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The Castle brings village back to life

MORE than 40 craftspeople, artists and antique dealers have already taken retail space in the newly-opened arts, antiques and craft centre and restaurant at the former Coach House pub in Clarecastle. The Castle, a three-storey building, has been given a €1m restoration through the partnership of antiques expert, Paul Walsh – who operated in the nearby Antique Loft premises across the road for many years; coach operator, PJ Keogh, of PK Travel; and tourism and accommodation specialist, Emelyn Heaps, of Renaissance Resorts. Walsh also had a successful antiques business in Kilcolgan, County Galway, which he sold two years ago, thinking to retire and spend more time indulging in his hobby of horse-training. However, his friend, Emelyn, had other ideas. “Emelyn said to me, ‘Your building would make a great craft building’ but I told him it’s not big enough on its own. It might be okay for crafts but it’s not big enough to make it a draw for people. …

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Council support for peace park

A Clare Peace Park Initiative to erect a First World War memorial in honour of the Clare men who served and died in the conflict has been granted planning permission. The development, which will now proceed in partnership with the council, is on 0.1 hectares of land at Causeway Link, across the road from Glór, in Ennis and will consist of three standing stones, with inscriptions, which will be surrounded by about 100 square metres of paving with pathways in and out of the memorial site. The group’s chairperson, Dr Keir McNamara, is pleased that the initiative has been granted permission and would welcome further sponsorship to ensure the project can get off the ground as quickly as possible. “If we could get in the last bit of money we need, there’s no reason it couldn’t be completed by the end of this year. If we have a slower response to the fundraising effort, we would probably be looking at the middle of …

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