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Ennis

Work begins on Ennis market rejuvenation

WORK on revamping Ennis’ market to include a new “iconic” covered building for traders has now begun in the town centre. It is expected that the new market will be ready in time to be showcased to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will flock to Ennis for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Construction work has started on the Ennis Market Rejuvenation Project with a finish date of July 2016 for phase one of the redevelopment of the market at Garraunakilla. The new market will have room for 25 stalls, made up of internal covered areas and also space for stalls in the courtyard outside. The actual number of stalls for each market will vary, depending on the size of the stalls to be accommodated. According to the council, the allocation of stalls will be done through an open process and following discussion with market traders and other interested parties. Speaking to The Clare Champion at the site …

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Ennis Chamber on the trail of SME finance

A NEWLY announced €50 million loan facility for the SME sector will allow businesses to grow, an Ennis business representative group has said. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland has announced that under the terms of the deal, SMEs will be able to access more and lower-cost funding for equipment, machinery and vehicles through Finance Ireland, a Dublin-based specialist lender. It is understood the preferential interest rates will be typically 2% lower than current market rates. Ennis Chamber CEO, Rita McInerney said, “As a business representative organisation, the chamber welcomes any initiative that will ensure access to finance for SMEs, who are the backbone of the Irish economy, especially in rural Ireland. “SMEs employ approximately 70% of the people working in this country and make up over 99% of all businesses. It has been particularly challenging in recent years for SMEs to access finance, therefore this fund will make it more affordable for businesses to grow as well as increasing …

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Getting down to business about the Fleadh

Preparations for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 in Ennis stepped up this week with statutory bodies hosting an information briefing for business people in the town. The briefing was held in advance of Comhaltas Abbey Branch submitting a formal event licence application under the statutory planning process. The application process will afford an opportunity to the wider public to comment on proposals for what will be the largest event ever staged in the town. Local gardaí have provided a contact email address (ennis_ds@garda.ie) up to November 30, where businesses can bring to the attention of the agencies any proposals or issues that might be of relevance for Fleadh 2016. “This is a major event for Ennis and it requires significant advanced planning by all involved. We have opened up a channel of communication with the business community and we would ask that they would engage with the agencies at this point,” commented Superintendent Brendan McDonagh. Adrian Kelly, chief …

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Keane to oversee UHL emergency department

A former Ennis Hospital manager has been appointed to a new role that will see him oversee the management of some medical facilities. Frank Keane has become the new general manager of unscheduled care, which includes managing the emergency department in University Hospital Limerick (UHL), which experiences almost daily overcrowding. It also involves overseeing improvements in the delivery of services in the Local Injuries Units in Ennis and Nenagh and the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in Ennis, Nenagh and UHL. It is a case of the wheel coming full circle for the Ennis resident, who started his career as a emergency medical technician in 1992 and will now be in charge of the ED in UHL, where paramedics bring patients from the Mid-West for life-saving treatment. Working as an EMT in the region until 1998, he then became an ambulance officer and worked in this role until 2003, when he became a business development manager at UHL. In 2006, he …

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Fleadh briefing for business sector

MEMBERS of the business community, particularly those in the hospitality sector, are being invited to attend a briefing on Monday night to hear about the latest event management plans for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The non-statutory information session, which is being coordinated by Clare County Council in its role as co-ordinator of the statutory agencies for major events, takes place in the Temple Gate Hotel at 6pm. The event will be addressed by Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh, chairman of the Fleadh executive Committee, as well as by representatives of Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, Clare Fire and Rescue Service, and the HSE. Having narrowly missed out on winning the right to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in the past four years, Ennis was named ahead of Sligo and Drogheda as the host venue for the prestigious annual event earlier this year. Speaking ahead of the briefing, Ger Dollard, director of services, Clare County Council, said, “The hosting …

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Scout’s honour, it’s Mick’s rope

THE rope ladder used by TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly to gain access to an unauthorised area of Shannon Airport is set for a new life with the scouts in Clare. On Wednesday evening, the infamous ladder was presented to the 1st and 4th Clare Scout Group, following an order by Judge Patrick Durcan made in Ennis District Court. Both Deputies Wallace and Daly were convicted of entering a restricted area of the airport on July 22 last year and during the trial, Deputy Wallace had asked for the rope ladder to be returned to him. This week, Ennis District Court heard an application for the rope ladder, which had been in Shannon Garda Station since the trial, to be forfeited permanently. Karen Kelleher, county programming co-ordinator with Clare Scouts, said they are delighted to receive the rope ladder. “We didn’t know that this was going to happen. All donations to Clare Scouts are always gratefully accepted.” While the …

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Tulla Road closed to facilitate water works

Motorists are bracing themselves for traffic disruption on one of Ennis’ busiest routes from this Saturday with the start of a week-long 24-hour road closure. Senior engineer with Clare County Council Tom Tiernan has described the upcoming closure on the Tulla Road to facilitate works by Irish Water as “probably one of the most punishing elements” of the county capital’s watermain rehabilitation project. However, he has insisted that the full closure of the road was the best possible option for both residents and those behind the project, which involves the replacement of leaking pipes. Contractor Ward & Burke Construction Ltd are carrying out the works, which will see the road closed from the roundabout on the Lifford Road to the east side of the Tulla Road Bridge on the Tulla Road. The road closure will be in place from this Saturday until Sunday, November 1 inclusive and diversions are in place. Speaking ahead of the closure, he acknowledged that residents …

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The Fleadh down in Ennis

FLEADH Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 is set for a ‘glór-ious’ launch on this Friday night. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ard-Stiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will launch the Fleadh, which will be held in Ennis from August 14 to 21, before an invited audience in Glór. There has been much excitement and anticipation around the town and county following the decision of an Ardchomhairle last March to entrust the local Abbey Branch with the honour of hosting the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2016, after a gap of almost 40 years. Since then, chairman Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh and the Fleadh Executive Committee, in partnership with Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, the health and emergency services, have enthusiastically set about the task of organising the event. And what a mammoth task it is, with an estimated 400,000 visitors, 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians due to descend on Ennis and its environs over the course of nine days next summer. The official opening will …

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