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Snail mail take 45 years to reach Ennis

ENNIS businesswoman Mary Kelly, who operates a stationery and card shop on O’Connell Street, was rather surprised last week when a letter posted in Dublin 45 years ago dropped through her letterbox. The letter was addressed to the late Philip Reidy, the former owner of the premises. Along with his wife, Agnes Henchy Reidy, he ran a newsagency business from the building. Mr Reidy passed away in 1977. “The envelope was perfectly intact and the address was written in a nice fountain pen. The postal mark was April 7, 1971,” Mary told The Clare Champion. “I didn’t open it because there is a son of that man living in Celbridge. He said to me ‘open it’ but I said ‘no, no you have to open it’. It felt like it could have been a relic or a ten shilling note,” Mary mused. Celbridge-based Philip Ó Ríada, who is currently abroad, insisted however that Mary open the letter sent to his …

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Mini roundabout proposal for traffic problems

TRAFFIC levels are leaving residents of Corrovorrin and St Senan’s Road in Ennis “frustrated”, a meeting of local councillors has heard. Among the solutions suggested was a mini-roundabout in the area. Councillor Ann Norton, at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, asked that a traffic survey be carried out at the exit of Corrovorrin and St Senan’s Road to investigate the viability of the traffic-calming measure. She commented, “Residents in the area are quite concerned and frustrated; there is quite a lot of traffic.” Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer, told the meeting that a proposal funded by a Low Cost Safety Scheme went through a public consultation process for traffic-calming and was withdrawn at approval stage at Ennis Town Council, as approval was not forthcoming from the councillors. He explained, “The key issue in the withdrawal of the previous proposal was the position of the local shop to the junction and the requirements under road design guidelines that eliminated …

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Fleadh to return to Ennis in 2017

The decision of the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to stage Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017 in Ennis has been warmly welcomed in County Clare. Hosting the world famous traditional music event for two years in a row is a mammoth challenge but one that we embrace with open arms, according to Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh, Cathaoirleach of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Inis 2016. “On a Sunday morning during Fleadh Nua in 2010, Frank Whelan, Rory Casey, Pat Liddy and I first discussed the idea of bringing the Fleadh back to Ennis. Little did we realise then, the time and effort it would take to have it back in Clare for the first time in nearly 40 years. To have the Fleadh back twice in consecutive years is beyond our wildest dreams,’ he continued. “Right now, it’s full steam ahead in Ennis to make this year’s All Ireland the greatest ever. We are learning a great deal in a very short …

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Olivier Award nomination for Ennis actresss

An Ennis actress is in good company as a nominee for one of the world’s most prestigious theatre awards. Denise Gough has been nominated in the Best Actress category for the Olivier Awards, along with Hollywood actresses Nicole Kidman and Gemma Arterton. Denise, from College Green, has been nominated for her performance in Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things. Critics have been raving about her performance, describing it as “career changing”, “astonishing” and “emotionally shattering”. She has already won the Best Actress Award at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2015 for the same part and was nominated for the Best Actress Award by The Evening Standard for her “career-defining performance” as an actress whose life has spun recklessly out of control because of her addiction to drink and drugs. When she was named best actress for the Critics’ Circle Awards, she admitted almost giving up acting before she got the part with the National Theatre. Now she is the toast …

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Ennis Players pay tribute to Friel

Ennis Players celebrate the life of world-acclaimed playwright, Brian Friel, with a production of The Loves of Cass Maguire on its 50th anniversary. It is poignant that the Players are performing this play in the year of Brian Friel’s death and the Players believe they were the last amateur drama group in Ireland to receive a written license from Friel to perform the play, just two months before his passing. Glór Theatre – from Wednesday, next to Saturday, February 27 – will be the venue for the latest production of the award-winning Ennis Players. Allen Flynn, director, explained, “This is a very powerful play, both humorous and sad, but ultimately uplifting. Friel’s play deals with identity, the notion of truth and communication and how memories, both public and private, enable us to ride the highs and lows of life. “Throughout the play, images from the past flood into Cass’s head and the story unfolds when, after 51 years in America, …

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Cathal putting his life back in order

AFTER losing his wife Jackie to cancer in England, Cathal Shanahan moved back to Clare and started to put the pieces back together, living and working in an area he had left decades before. The grief hit him hard and fast after Jackie’s death but, having set up a business in Ennis, lost weight and taken up exercise, he feels he is making a good fist of things again. “She was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the treatment for that, she had chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and then radiotherapy. That was fine. She had about 10 months then until it came back. When it came back it was only ever going to be palliative, it had spread. She passed away about two and a half years after that. That’s two years ago this August,” he says. Watching his wife dealing with terminal cancer was very difficult. “It was very tough but we were very lucky as well. With Jackie’s work …

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Two late declarations in Clare election race

There have been two very late additions to the General Election line up in Clare. Candidates had until noon today (Thursday) to register their intention to run. Ahead of the deadline, Independent Dermot Mulqueen, an artist from Gort Road, Ennis and André Sibo Hakizimana, an economic policy consultant, also from Gort Road, Ennis, lodged their nomination papers. There are now 16 candidates in the field for the four-seater constituency.

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Turnpike memorabilia sought for new book

A FINAL appeal for memories of the Turnpike has been made by Flan Hehir from McNamara Park, who has been working in recent months on compiling a new book exploring the history of the area. Flan’s new publication will explore the history of the old and new Turnpike area. The book is being produced in conjunction with Clare Roots Society. Last year, the partnership, in conjunction with the residents of McNamara Park, produced a booklet to mark the 50th anniversary of the first replacement houses to the Old Turnpike. Flan has been carrying out research over the last 18 months, travelling the town and country, collecting memories and photographs of the houses and tales of former residents. While his extensive research has uncovered many interesting stories, he is urging anyone with any information they feel could be useful in the book to contact him. “The current appeal is for contributions of photographs, documents, invoices and memorabilia of all kinds associated …

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