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Ennis

Journey of Hope begins

Over 4,500 Team Hope Christmas shoeboxes, filled with gifts for needy children in Ukraine, will be leaving Ennis this evening (Tuesday). Over the past three weeks schools, businesses, factories and individuals throughout the county have put together the shoeboxes which were packaged at Elevation Business Park, Clonroad, Ennis. “We have packed all these boxes into cartons to be loaded onto a lorry this evening. There will be 489 cartons to put onto the lorry, which are filled with 4,561 shoeboxes to get to needy children in Ukraine before Christmas,” said Margaret Angland, Clare coordinator for Team Hope.

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Breen sees red at traffic calming island

TRAFFIC calming measures at Loughville have been anything but calming for Councillor James Breen, since they were introduced three years ago. The blue traffic island and black roadside bollards are designed to slow traffic down on the busy Ennis to Ennistymon road, but Councillor Breen has been concerned about how difficult it is for motorists to see the signs or bollards. He has brought it to the attention of the council on a number of occasions. “They are small circular blue signs with white arrows and they are deadly at night because if cars are coming against you at the dip of the hill, you can’t see them,” he said. “The bollards are black and are equally hard to see at night. Every time I raised it at the council, I was told it was the NRA who was responsible,” he said. “I can’t understand why the NRA hasn’t done something about it over the past three years.” Last week, …

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Ennis bridge winter closure

Drehidnagower Bridge, near Drumcliffe, on the outskirts of Ennis, is likely to be closed to the public for the winter months due to rising river levels and the requirement to undertake structural remediation works. In making the announcement, Clare County Council said the temporary closure of the bridge to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians on the Local Road L4587, located north west of the town, is being enforced due to safety reasons while river levels remain elevated. The bridge, which crosses the River Fergus, dates back to the early 19th century and has been the subject of a 30km/hr for a number of months. A council spokesperson said, “The council recently conducted a routine survey of the bridge which determined the requirement for strengthening works to be carried out on the structure’s undercarriage. With water levels rising on the River Fergus, the council has deemed it appropriate for public safety reasons to enforce a temporary closure, which is likely to continue …

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Alec steps into the Chamber

FORMER Clare county manager, Alec Fleming has taken over as interim CEO with Ennis Chamber of Commerce, while Rita McInerney takes a year’s career break. Paddy Darmody, president of Ennis Chamber, welcomed the new interim CEO and said he is looking forward to working with Alec, in what promises to be a very busy year for the Chamber. “Ennis is recovering from a very deep recession and I am confident that Alec’s experience and expertise will be of great benefit to the Chamber and the town in the challenging year ahead” said Paddy. “I’m delighted to step in as interim CEO, while Rita is away,” Mr Fleming said. A public servant for 30 years, he retired from the top Clare public service job in 2009 and has been working in private industry as a consultant. A Tipperary native, Alec received his second-level education in St Flannan’s, before beginning his public service career, and has been living in Ennis since 2002, …

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And they call it puppy love

AN ENNIS woman with an incurable case of ‘puppy love’ is at the centre of an incredible tale of devotion and care for sick and abandoned dogs. Martina Flaherty, from Westbourne, loves all breeds of puppies and dogs and has saved more than 130 lives since she set up Babydog Rescue with her friend, Mags Mooney from Lisdoonvarna, earlier this year. Dog warden, Frankie Coote can’t praise Martina enough. “Martina’s work is essential because she has about 130 dogs taken from the pound since she started Babydog Rescue earlier this year. It’s a huge amount of dogs. She has a wonderful way of dealing with people and other rescue groups. “Martina and Mags Mooney fundraise and I think they have over 60 pups inoculated with the seven-in-one injections that have gone out to homes in Clare as well,” Frankie said. “There’s a lot of work goes into it and a lot of expenses before the dog goes out. They’ve fundraised …

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Gaining confidence, inch by inch

FOR the last few months, Mark Kearney has been drawing puzzled glances from people he meets on the streets, even from people he has known for years. He is close to unrecognisable from the man he was on St Patrick’s Day, after shedding almost 11 stone in the space of seven months. The weight loss came after a religiously-observed diet and the re-introduction of exercise into his life. When he started the weight loss programme in April, Mark, who lives in Ennis, was 25 stone and nine pounds but when he finished in early October, he was down to 14 stone and 11 pounds, a fairly appropriate weight for his 6’5 frame. It’s hardly surprising that he wasn’t satisfied with life at 25 stone and he says the weight was draining the positives from him in all sorts of ways. “Being that weight was affecting my whole life. Going in for interviews for jobs [he was then unemployed], it was …

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Ballyea man lands Ógra top job

Ballyea man Eoin Neylon has been elected Uachtarán of Ógra Fianna Fáil, the party’s youth wing. The 28-year-old, Ennis-based structural engineer and member of Fianna Fáil’s national executive defeated Naoise Ó Cearúil for the top job at Ógra’s national conference in Clane, County Kildare. “I was up against Kildare councillor, Naoise Ó Cearúil, a very good friend of mine. The competition was stiff but, at the end of the day, the delegates felt we had different visions for the term ahead. Naoise is a very dedicated, very committed and very capable local councillor in Maynooth, but the fact that I have been involved for 10 years in the organisation, I suppose people went with the man who had more experience,” he said. The newly-elected Uachtarán has been very involved in policy and organisational issues as a member of Fianna Fáil’s national executive and is looking forward to his term at the helm. Eoin was the driving force behind developing Fianna …

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Hank Krabbe Scholarship for Ennis student

Ennis engineering student, Graham Britchfield from Rockmount has been awarded a Hank Krabbe Scholarship at University of Limerick. A fourth year electronic and computer engineering student, Graham will receive a scholarship grant and is also eligible for co-operative education or summer placements at Analog Devices, sponsors of the scholarship. In total, six of UL’s top performing engineering students were awarded Hank Krabbe Scholarships. The top graduating engineering student is also eligible for the Hank Krabbe Medal and an accompanying grant of €5,000. Speaking at the scholarship awards ceremony, Denis Doyle, Vice President and General Manager Limerick Manufacturing, Analog Devices said; “There is a very strong, long-term and successful relationship between Analog Devices and the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department in UL, with many graduates of this course contributing to the success of Analog Devices. “Electronic engineering will continue to be at the heart of our future and with that in mind we have designed the awards to promote the brightest, …

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