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Ennis

Residents still unhappy with festival plans

LITTLE progress was made by either side at the second public meeting between residents living in the Fair Green area of Ennis and the organisers of the three-day INISFest 2015, which is due to take place at the end of June. At the meeting on Tuesday night at Tom Steele’s bar in Ennis, a number of residents continued to voice their concerns over having a three-day music festival on their doorsteps, citing noise and a marquee selling drink to 3,500 patrons – despite a ban on alcohol consumption in the public park – their fears of being blocked in their own homes, of their property being damaged and anti-social behaviour in the area before and after events. The two-hour meeting, called by event organisers Impresario Events Limited, was chaired by broadcaster Ger Sweeney, who said it was important to have new events that would put Ennis on the map and would lead to people talking about the town for all …

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No broadband hit for Kilnamona businesss

A KILNAMONA-based couple, who operate a tourism business, have to run it from a variety of cafés in Ennis, due to the lack of broadband where they live. Henry Wilkinson has told The Clare Champion that they would not have moved to Kilnamona had they been aware that broadband access was an issue. “Had we known back in December that there was no broadband in the area, we would not have taken a year’s lease. My fiancée and I recently moved to the area to be closer to her parents. We run our own tourism-based business and urgently need access to fast, reliable broadband,” Mr Wilkinson explained. The absence of broadband has resulted in the couple having to work from Ennis. “Over the past four months, we have been making daily trips to Ennis to sit in coffee shops and try and run our business, which is expensive and not ideal. Where do we go from here? Will broadband be …

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Ennis targets tidiest town title

LOCAL community group representatives and members of the business community in Ennis gathered in the Old Ground Hotel this week for the launch of an initiative aimed at enhancing the Clare county town’s chances of becoming Ireland’s tidiest town. Ennis Tidy Towns Committee launched its new website, www.ennistidytowns.com, and a community-wide campaign called On The Move To Become Ireland’s Tidiest Town, to help Ennis achieve national success in the 2016 competition. The three-year plan aims to address new criteria of the competition, including waste management and biodiversity. The initiative also features a heavy focus on community involvement and encouraging local residents, community groups and businesses to work together to improve the overall appearance of the town. The first major initiative being undertaken as part of the plan takes place on April 18, when communities will be invited to participate in a large clean-up that is being facilitated by Clare County Council, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, The Lions Club, Clare …

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Dunnes workers walk the line

A LARGE number of Dunnes Stores workers in Ennis were on the picket line this Thursday morning, as part of the national bid to force senior management to the negotiating table. Dunnes Stores staff nationwide are seeking secure hours and earnings; job security; fair pay; and the right to trade union representation. At the heart of the dispute is 15 hour contracts which can be spread over five days and prevent them from getting family income supplement or the dole. The striking workers in Ennis mounting two pickets, front and back of the store, say the response from shoppers and passers-by this morning has been brilliant. “It’s going very good and has started very well,” said a representative of the picketers who didn’t want to be named. “There’s a brilliant response. We’re getting a lot of support from people passing by and people have come up to the entrance in their cars and driven off again,” she told The Clare …

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Residents critical of concert plan

SPARKS flew and voices were raised from time to time at a fractious meeting held at Tom Steele’s bar on Monday night, as local residents received information about plans for three concerts in Tim Smythe Park this summer. Collectively, the concerts in question make up Inis Fest 2015, which is set to take place from June 26 to 28, featuring a number of household names, including Damien Dempsey, Hermitage Green, Nathan Carter, Mundy and Finbar Furey. While acknowledging the scale of the events are totally different, a resident compared the situation with the Garth Brooks affair at one point and the issues being raised were indeed reminiscent of those aired over a number of weeks last year. Many of those who live around the Fair Green area are angry over a perceived lack of consultation. Also, there was scepticism about how effective the organisers’ proposals for dealing with the crowds will be, as there is expected to be up to …

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Visiting Baha’i holy place

ENNIS man Alan Keane and his wife, Trish visited one of the Baha’i faith’s most sacred places at Mount Carmel in Israel recently. Alan served for a time in the Baha’i world centre in Haifa, in a voluntary capacity and was invited back for some consultancy work “It was really wonderful being there again and meeting up with people I hadn’t seen for years,” Alan said. “I very much enjoyed accompanying Alan on his trip,” said Trish. “It was so spiritually uplifting to be close to the Baha’i holy places, remembering all those who asked to be remembered and basking in the sacred atmosphere of the beautiful gardens,” Trish said. The world centre of the Baha’i faith is staffed primarily by volunteers from all over the world.

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Maureen calls time on pulling pints

WHEN a young Maureen McMahon started pulling pints behind the bar in Derry Honan’s pub in 1970, it was all down to political pull. “When Maureen came here first, it was very much a Fianna Fáil pub. The owner, Derry Honan was a Fianna Fáil senator then and his wife, Treas was a senator later on,” said Maureen’s husband, Michael Daly, as she bowed out after 44 years behind the bar in what is now Dan O’Connell’s Bar in Abbey Street. “The clientele was different at that time. It was Tadhg Wynne that got me the job here, and he was a very strong Fianna Fáil supporter. When I first came into Ennis I stayed with Tadhg in Parnell Street and he got me the job here. He was a lovely man. I used to cycle out home to Connolly then on my days off and then cycle back after visiting my father and brother, Pat Joe McMahon and sister, …

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Fleadh could cost €850,000

Clare Comhaltas is expecting it will cost between €800,000 and €850,000 to run Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016, Fleadh could cost €850,000pending official confirmation of the official budget. They are hopeful that Clare County Council will contribute about €60,000, based on its proposed financial contribution, which was contained in previous bids, subject to the approval of councilors. An emphasis on innovation was also a key factor in the success of the application. One key proposal is a commitment to staging the first ever ‘Totally Accessible Fleadh’, so that people with disabilities will be able to participate fully in all events including competitions, concerts and classes. In addition, the iFleadh will make the most of new media and social networking technology to enhance the festival-going experience. Although Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 will be centered in Ennis, it will also create an ideal opportunity to showcase all that the county has to offer. The Sharing Clare initiative, contained in the bid, …

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