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Ennis

Turnpike pub blaze not malicious, say gardaí

GARDAÍ believe there was nothing malicious about a fire that gutted Aylmer’s Rest pub on St Stephen’s Day.

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Community development group in appeal to councillors

ENNIS Community Development Project (CDP) is appealing to all local councillors and TDs to examine the impact on the most marginal and disenfranchised communities of the possible reduction of the number of CDPs nationally.Chairman of Ennis CDP, Dermot Hayes, has described Government plans as “another blow to the communities who need to participate and engage at decision-making”. “The implications of closures are stark. Disadvantaged communities will be further undermined and there will be consequences for employment, training, education, and anti-social behaviour,” Mr Hayes claimed.He claimed Ennis CDP is cost effective. “The Government has announced it will reduce the number of CDPs nationally and is in the process of scrapping the national Community Development Plan. Community development will be subsumed into local development. We believe that there is every possibility that this will mean the loss of valuable skills and experience built up over the last 20 years of the programme. This programme was designed by Government to directly target disadvantage …

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Facelift plan for Tim Smythe Park

Ennis Town Council has engaged a consultancy firm to prepare plans for a major facelift of Tim Smythe Park, known locally as The Fairgreen, which includes the construction of a new children’s playground.Consultants Commane Stratton Reynolds are preparing revised drawings for the park and the town council intends to proceed to tender in mid-February, with work to upgrade and improve amenities commencing on site next April.A pedestrian crossing will be provided at the northern end of the park leading to the relocated playground, while there will also be a separate play area for young teenagers. The project will also include the replacement of existing exercise bars, the development of walkways and landscaping improvements. The Fairgreen is home to several junior soccer clubs in Clare and the redevelopment plan will see the demolition and replacement of the existing dressing room block. Minister of State Tony Killeen said that while improvement works such as the development of new playing pitches have taken …

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Roadworks needed after flooding

A SIGNIFICANT amount of roadworks are likely to be needed in Ennis due to the November flooding, according to the town council’s budget for 2010.“Road grants received in 2009 were substantially less than anticipated, due to funding restrictions at national level. The council has maintained its own resources allocation to the roads programme at €210,000. The overall situation regarding roads will need to be reviewed when road grants are notified in 2010, as there is evidence of significant work required as a result of the serious flooding that occurred in mid-November,” stated town manager, Ger Dollard in his introduction to the budget.He also said that the council is still looking at providing more off-street parking, while fewer people are breaching parking regulations in Ennis.“During 2009, the council advertised for expressions of interest for the provision of off street car parking in the town. Six expressions of interest were received and the council formed an assessment panel to consider the proposals. …

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No change to commercial rates

PARKING charges and commercial rates will remain at 2009 levels for another 12 months at least, as Ennis Town Council adopted its budget for the coming year at a special meeting last Thursday.There was little rancour, with the budget being adopted unanimously. Reviewing 2009, town manager Ger Dollard said that the grant to the town council had been cut twice in 2009, and when preparing the budget, an assumption of a 10% cut for 2010 had been made. Mr Dollard claimed that the current commercial rate in Ennis is “at the lower end of the scale” when compared to other similar-sized towns. He also said that it was estimated that the tax on second homes would generate around €350,000 for 2010.While Councillor Brian Meaney queried the assumption made that the cut in the Local Government Fund would be limited to 10%, Mr Dollard said that there were a number of unknowns but that the draft budget gave scope to deal …

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Chamber hopes for festive cash splash

WHILE the recession had hit hard leading to a slower than usual shopping splurge, Ennis Chamber is expecting business to gather momentum in the coming weeks as shoppers finally splash the cash.Chamber president, Guy Flouch said the town was bracing itself for a bumper shopping season and key shopping streets had been pedestrianised and parking spaces have been massively increased in anticipation of large shopping numbers. “The town is a fantastic place to shop. The town centre is compact, pulsating with family-friendly stores all offering a range of initiatives to create a traditional festive atmosphere,” Guy stressed.Mr Flouch added, “Visiting Ennis this Christmas will restore a hassle-free shopping experience imbued with traditional seasonal values. You will have choice, convenience and fantastic bargains.”To promote the town, Guy and Chamber CEO, Rita McInerney have been appearing on regional radio stations and have launched an intensive advertising campaign. They have also tapped into social networking sites.Ennis Town Council is playing its part, with …

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Urine warden plan dries up

  AN Ennis Town Council-led crackdown on public urination isn’t going to go ahead.At a meeting this week, Councillor Paul O’Shea, who recently suggested creating a position of urine warden in the town, brought forward a motion asking that a six-month pilot project be introduced that would see two people employed as environment and nuisance wardens. But town clerk Eddie Power shot down the proposals. “The gardaí have the powers under the Criminal Justice Public Order Act 1994 to deal with public urination. Ennis Town Council as a local authority does not have the legal basis to take any action in this regard. In any event, the council is prohibited by the public service staffing embargo to recruit additional staff.”However, Councillor O’Shea was not deterred and claimed that funding could be found. He also claimed that the problem isn’t being tackled. “When was the last time anyone saw in the papers that someone had been fined for public urination?” he …

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New flooding plan needed

ALL “the old rules” that have surrounded flood control in Ennis are now irrelevant, this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council heard.Engineer Eamon O’Dea told the meeting that there would be an evaluation of the floods and funds would be sought to make improvements, while he also said that there is no safety risk at the Bank Place Bridge, although further inspections will take place when the water level recedes.Councillor Brian Meaney asked at what point it would be necessary to relocate people to higher ground, rather than continually tackling flooding at their homes. He said that certain works in the ’80s had been carried out “nefariously” and that a new approach was needed. “We need a substantial look at flood management. All the old rules have gone,” he commented.Councillor Meaney also said that the situation would have been much more grave but for the works that have been carried out at the Parnell Street car park.There needs to be …

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