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Ennis

House prices up, supply down

House prices in Ennis have begun to rise again after losing more than half their value over the past seven years and may be up by 20% this year. But the number of properties for sale are falling, as the supply of houses coming to the market contracts. “We’ve seen a significant change since the beginning of August. There was a change from March or April on but from August on – particularly in Ennis – quite a lot of housing supply was snapped up and the available stock has contracted significantly. Houses are selling but the supply is just not being replaced,” said Diarmuid McMahon of Sherry FitzGerald McMahon. “There are more people buying than selling and there’s no new supply. There has been nothing built in five or six years, and that’s starting to bite,” he said. Much of the impetus for rising prices comes from the rise in confidence in the economy this year; and also from …

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Clúid officially opens its doors

A 22-apartment complex in Pound Lane, Ennis, was officially opened this Thursday by Housing Minister, Paudie Coffey. The one and two-bedroomed apartments are owned and managed by Clúid Housing, one of the State’s largest housing associations. The apartments were originally built as a private development and, following consultation with Clare County Council, Clúid purchased the units for €970,000 in April this year, under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) scheme and invested a further €130,000 in refurbishing the complex. The first tenants, including returned emigrant Jim Houlihan, took up residence in September 2014. A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver, Jim Houlihan arrived back from London to his native Kilrush seven years ago, just as the Celtic Tiger era came to an abrupt end. “I was living and working in London for 30 years as a HGV driver and then as a bus driver for a year and I decided to come back to live and work in Ennis. But the …

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Councillor James Breen

Teens feel the fear on streets of Ennis

TWO thirds of teenagers and young adults surveyed by Clare Youth Service have felt unsafe in the Ennis Town area during the past 12 months, while 60% of those who said they had experienced crime said they were assaulted, a study by UL has revealed. More than half (54%) of senior-cycle secondary school students surveyed have also admitted to feeling unsafe, and a little less than half (46%) of the general population, who responded to the survey questionnaire, said they also felt unsafe. The study, Feeling Safe in Ennis, an exploration of perceptions of safety in Ennis, was presented to Tuesday’s Ennis Municipal District councillors by Dr Chris McInerney from the Department of Politics and Public Administration in UL. The study was commissioned following feedback gained during the Ennis 2020 consultations that had indicated some level of concern about safety issues in the town. Dr McInerney told the councillors that Ennis ranks on the lower end of the scale in …

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Night road safety campaign

Ennis will host the very first Light Up The Night safety campaign event on this Thursday evening. The main focus of this campaign is to educate all vulnerable road users on how to be visible to traffic. The campaign is to ensure that all road users not only wear high visibility clothing but clothing that is reflective also. The campaign will begin at 6pm with a Light Up Your Bike safety workshop on the ground floor of Unit 1 , Westgate Business Park , Kilrush Road (across from World of Wonder). The RSA will be providing free high visibilty and reflective gear, as well as a free set of lights to all vulnerable road users. The workshop will be followed by a cycle of Ennis by-pass or the N85 Western Relief Road. “We are asking the runners and walkers of the Ennis area to put on your high visibility reflective gear and come out  and support this idea and help …

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Bursting with pride in Ennis

Up to 800 people from all over the island of Ireland will gather in Ennis next week for the 2014 IPB Pride of Place Awards. This year’s ceremony takes place on Saturday, November 15 at Treacy’s West County Hotel and is being hosted by Clare County Council and Cooperation Ireland, which runs the competition north and south of the border. IPB Pride of Place, which was first piloted in the summer of 2003 and came from the Local Authority All-Island Steering Forum, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society. Clare is being represented in this year’s competition by Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Ltd. in Category 3 for population centres of between 750 and 1,500 people, Clarecastle Community Development Ltd. in Category 4 for population centres of between 1,500 and 4,000 people, Tuamgraney Community Woodland in Category 6 (Eco Community Initiative), and Clarisford Ltd. (Killaloe/Ballina) in Category 7 (Community Innovation). The four communities will be hoping to …

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Anti-water protests in downpour

Ironically, the weekend’s anti-water charge protests in Ennis, Shannon and Limerick, and indeed many other places around the country, took place in torrential downpours. However, this didn’t dampen the spirits of the estimated 1500,000 protesters, who sent a clear message to the Government that Irish Water is not the way to go. The Ennis protest began at O’Connell Square where speakers addressed  the protesters before the marched up the street and turned into Carmody Street and wormed their way back to the Square. Residents from a number of housing estates marched to the town centre area of Shannon, where the protest included the burning of notices from Irish Water. Several communities from South East Clare were well represented at the largest protest in the Mid West in Limerick city.

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Ennis man found guilty of murder

A 40-year-old man has been convicted of murdering a Polish man in Ennis last year. Michael Maughan (40) of Stone Court, Ennis had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Piotr Nowakowski (31) at Sandfield Mews, Ennis on July 23, 2013. The Central Criminal Court was told the manslaughter plea was not acceptable to the prosecution and a jury was sworn in for the one-week trial. Maughan had also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Declan O’Dea at the same address on the same date. On this Friday afternoon, the jury of seven men and five women found him guilty on both counts by unanimous decision after two hours and 23 minutes. Mr Justice Paul Carney handed down the mandatory life sentence for the murder to run concurrently, with four years for the assault on Mr O’Dea. He backdated both sentences to July 24, 2013 for time spent in custody. Mr Nowakowski was stabbed twice and died …

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Fire Service responds to Ennis odour

Clare Fire Service responded to an emergency call out this Friday morning reports of  odours being  detected in O’Connell Street, Ennis. The street was sealed off  to traffic while the fire crew flushed out drains. There have been a number of similar incidents in the Ennis town centre area in recent years. A Clare County Council spokesman said heavy rainfall had resulted in a sewerage drain becoming blocked and the smell was as a result of gases that had built up. The hosing out of the drains would resolve the matter, he added.

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