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Ennis

Ennis plan maps opportunities for the future

OPPORTUNITY knocks for Ennis, with 19 potential development sites identified in the Draft Ennis and Environs Local Area Plan 2015-2021. The draft plan, revealed by Clare County Council this week, comes 65 years after the first town plan for Munster’s largest town was prepared by renowned architect and town planner, Frank Gibney. The draft contains rejuvenation, development and expansion proposals for Ennis and identifies 19 key opportunity sites to reverse decline, provide new shops and services for residents and create employment. Among the opportunity sites identified are the Garraunakilla covered market – due to be completed at the end of this year or early in 2016; the development of the former Boys National School on the Kilrush Road, where retail development of 3,000 square metres is envisaged; pedestrian-friendly areas, to include Barrack Street Square, old Barrack Street and a rejuvenation of a pedestrian-friendly O’Connell Monument area. The draft plan sees the old Analogue building and adjoining infill site presenting an …

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Ennis Woman Dies in Jamaica

ENNIS woman, Maeve Smythe has died unexpectedly in University Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. She had been living in Turks and Caicos Islands for some time and was recently transferred to hospital in Kingston. The late Ms Smythe had broken her leg on December 21, following which she had an operation. Prior to relocating to the Carribbean, Ms Smythe ran Epicene, a business in Ennis town centre. Ms Smythe’s father was Tim Smythe, the former Clare county councillor and international cross country champion. The Fairgreen in Ennis is named after the late Tim Smythe. Ms Smythe is survived by her brothers, Barry, Ennis; Mike, Canada and Conor, Oregon, USA; and sisters, Maura Neylon, Ennis; Ann Dempsey, Grand Turk; and Olive Kelly, Dublin; relatives and a wide circle of friends.

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Garda alert: Ennis man missing

Gardaí in Galway city are appealing to the public for assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 29-year-old Ennis man, Eoin Madigan, missing since January 5. Eoin was last seen at approximately 10.10pm on Monday, January 5 on Mainguard Street in Galway city. He is described as 5ft 8” in height, of medium build with short black hair. When last seen he was wearing a grey/blue zip hoodie and blue jeans. Eoin’s family and gardaí are concerned for him and anyone with information is asked to contact Galway Garda Station 091 538000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Dangerous lack of lighting at Kilmaley cross

THE “dangerous” lack of lighting at a crossroads in Kilmaley was highlighted at this week’s Ennis Municipal District meeting. Councillor Tom McNamara raised the matter in a motion and was told that the council does not have a community lighting scheme in place and has no means of funding the works. Councillor McNamara told the meeting that recent night-time funerals in Kilmaley had brought home the danger to the public in the area, where the two local roads meet the Ennis to Miltown Malbay road at Kilmaley. He said, in the past few months, since a funeral home opened there, it has been become obvious how dangerous the cross is. “In the interest of public safety, something will have to be done. In November and December, there were two night funerals and people couldn’t cross the road. The footpaths on the far side of the road are in an awful condition,” Councillor McNamara stated, adding, “I got more complaints about …

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Holy Family School 50 years on

It is 50 years to the day (Wednesday, January 7) that the Sisters of Mercy walked all their pupils from the old school at Temple Gate in Ennis to their new convent school, the Holy Family School on Station Road. To mark this occasion, all children and staff of Holy Family junior and senior schools retraced the steps of this walk this morning (Wednesday). They gathered at the Temple Gate Plaza to make the proud march up O’Connell Street. Heavy rain did not deter the pupils, teachers and parents from publicly marking this important milestone, which  greatly improved the standard of educational facilities in Ennis. The Holy Family School is also an iconic building in Ennis town.

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Planning decision to impact on Ennis pub’s future?

THE future viability of an Ennis pub/restaurant that employs 40 staff is uncertain, following a decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse the retention and alteration of an outdoor smoking room with a retractable roof. Derek Gleeson, the owner of Yolo – You Only Live Once – at 40 Abbey Street, Ennis, in response to an enforcement order in March to remove the structure, had applied to Clare County Council to retain and alter the outdoor smoking room at the pub/restaurant with a traditional shop front at the smoking area, in keeping with the other traditional shop front on the premises. The council refused the development in July and this decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. The corner building is a protected structure, dating from the 18th century, and is part of a terrace of listed buildings on Abbey Street, in what is an Architectural Conservation Area. According to the submission made on behalf of Mr Gleeson, “This bar/restaurant …

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A Christmas tale of level spending

WHILE pre-Christmas and festive trading was certainly no worse than in previous years, there hasn’t been much evidence of increased spending in the Banner County, according to retailers. This week, Pat Kelly, manager of SkyCourt shopping centre in Shannon, said trading was quite similar to 12 months previously. “It was on a par with previous years, not better, but on a par with previous years. There was a lot of talk about the uplift but I thought we’d see more of it.” He said that Dealz, which sells goods at discount prices, had a very good Christmas but that most of the businesses at SkyCourt “generally found it was similar to last year, not the uplift we had probably expected”. Patrick Bourke, who has men’s clothes shops in Ennis and Kilrush, said there had been an improvement, albeit not a dramatic one. “We were busy, I have to say. We’d be up on last year, not hugely up. There were …

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Rent waiver proposal for filling vacant premises

ENNIS councillors have backed a motion calling on Clare County Council to introduce a rent waiver scheme that would give traders who set up business, in premises that are vacant for more than two years, a 75% rate cut in year one, a 50% rate cut in year two and a 25% rate cut in year three. Councillor Tom McNamara called for a three-year commitment by the council on rates and for the council to put pressure on landlords to “do something to get the town back in action”. He said such schemes had been successful elsewhere and asked his fellow local councillors to push it strongly at council level. Councillor Pat Daly supported the proposal and said it would be better to see some money being collected and would help to sustain new developing retail units. Councillor Mary Howard said she agreed with the spirit of the motion and called on landlords to look at their rents for new …

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