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No to Clarecastle motorway plaza

AN Bord Pleanála has rejected plans for a Barack Obama-style motorway plaza just outside Clarecastle. Earlier this year, Supermac’s Owner Pat McDonagh was granted planning permission by Clare County Council for a rest stop and drive thru on the Limerick – Gort motorway but the decision has been overturned on appeal.Supermac’s has a very successful plaza at Moneygall in County Offaly and another near the M6 at Loughrea. The planning permission in respect of the Clarecastle project was appealed by service stop rival, Applegreen, which has its own plans for a service area, 8km south of the Supermacs site. Later, however, Applegreen and Claureen Service Station withdrew their appeals and local man, Shane Brigdale was the only remaining opposition. The rejection of the plan represents a blow to the prospects of up to 100 jobs during the operation phase and up to 80 jobs during the construction phase. The appeal board refused planning on three grounds, including that it would …

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‘Bug hotel’ extension at Ennis school

Ennis insects are living it up with five-star treatment in a “bug hotel”, thanks to the efforts of local national-school children. Up to 200 students and 20 teachers in the Holy Family Junior School have created a hotel for insects, as part of the school’s bid for a fifth Green Flag. Creepy crawlies have what can only be described as luxury accommodation in a timber house, made from recyclable wooden pallets, under the direction of teacher, Triona Waters. Measuring approximately six-feet high by two-feet wide, the insect house is full of leaves and old pots to provide an ideal home for a variety of bugs. This environmentally-friendly initiative is one of the main planks of a project, which aims to teach young children, from the ages of four to eight, more about biodiversity and the wonders of nature. Teacher, Fiona Power explains that this latest project started last September and will continue up to June 2017. Because the children involved …

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Essential road works in Ennis

Clare County Council it will carry out road essential resurfacing works at Mill Road and Cornmarket Street in Ennis this evening (Tuesday). To minimise disruption to the public and businesses in the area, the road will be closed from 7pm to midnight with diversions in place for the duration of the works on Circular Road and Considine Terrace. Local access to the commercial and domestic premises at Downes & Howards and the Mill Court apartment complex will be maintained from the Carmody Street side throughout the roadworks.

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Ennis tribute to Ali in Louisville

Ennis was represented at the funeral of Muhammad Ali in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on Friday by Councillor Pat Daly, outgoing Mayor of Ennis and Gerard Dollard, interim chief executive of Clare County Council. During his visit to the Clare County Capital in September 2009, Muhammad Ali was named the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis in recognition of his career achievements and his ancestral links with the Clare county capital. Thousands of people filled the streets of the town during the visit. Ali’s ancestor Abe Grady emigrated from County Clare to the United States in the 1860s. He eventually settled in Kentucky, where he married an African-American woman. Their son also married an African-American and one of the daughters of that union was Ali’s mother, named Odessa Lee Grady. She married Cassius Clay, senior, and they settled in Louisville, where their son was initially given his father’s name on his birth in 1942. During Friday’s memorial service, Mr Dollard and Councillor …

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Phoenix twinning group flying in

Four young people from Phoenix will arrive in Ennis on Monday next as part of a three-week long exchange, a centrepiece of the long-standing twinning relationship between the Clare County and Arizona State capitals. The new Mayor of Ennis, Ann Norton, will perform one of her first official functions at the Rowan Tree Café on Tuesday at 12.30pm when she hosts a lunch for eight Ennis Phoenix Youth Ambassadors for 2016, among them the recently arrived Phoenix contingent as well as four Ennis students due to depart for Arizona next month. The Ennis Phoenix Twinning Committee, which is part-funded by Clare County Council, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.

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New traffic diversions for Ennis Market plan

New traffic arrangements will be put into effect from tomorrow (Tuesday) to facilitate the final phase of works on the Ennis Market Rejuvenation Project. Construction work is progressing on schedule and will deliver a new covered building for market traders in Ennis town centre by the end of July. Clare County Council says the traffic arrangements are aimed at maximising vehicular access to the market area whilst works are ongoing. From Tuesday, access to and from the Market area will be enabled via Summerhill and Lower Drumbiggle Road, while access will be restricted from the Market area junction with Lower Drumbiggle Road to the junction with Barrack Street (local access only). Signage detailing temporary changes to vehicular access to the Market will be in place while personnel will be present at the junction of O’Connell Street and Barrack Street to assist with traffic management. The local authority is also reminding the public that trading in the area is operating as …

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Power outage in Ennis

Over 1,500 homes and businesses are currently affected by a power outage in Ennis. The fault occurred shortly before 4pm this afternoon and is affecting supply to home and businesses on the Tulla and Gort Roads, as well as in Francis Street and other nearby areas. ESB  crews are working to resolve the issue and expect to have power restored to all premises later this evening.

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Former Ennis school site sold

The Diocese of Killaloe is in for a windfall with confirmation that a key piece of development land in the heart of Ennis has been sold. The former site of Ennis National School on the Kilrush Road was put on the market by the St Flannan’s (Killaloe) Diocesan Trust, with an advised minimum value of €1.2 million. The land is seen as a strategic site in the future development of the county capital. Auctioneer Liam Browne of REA Paddy Browne and Co told The Clare Champion that the St Flannan’s (Killaloe) Diocesan Trust are happy with the price achieved for the site. He said that, once developed, the site would enhance the town centre. However, he said he was unable to disclose the amount paid for the property or who the purchaser is. Mr Browne said, “It would be premature to give the name of the purchaser at this stage, until the sale is formally closed. I wish the new …

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