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Ennis celebrates its purple reign

ENNIS will take on a distinctive purple hue this weekend, as the town showcases its standards of excellence in the local evening and night-time economy. To mark the annual celebration of the Purple Flag programme, both in Ireland and the UK, this weekend, Ennis has planned a wide range of events not only to showcase the quality, diversity and vibrancy of their evening entertainment but to challenge the common negative, stereotypical perceptions about the safety and quality of the town. The iconic O’Connell Monument in O’Connell Street will be lit in purple, while purple flags will be flying around the town. The Ennis Purple Flag Working Group, consisting of members of the local gardaí, the Municipal District of Ennis, Ennis Chamber, evening and night-time business owners and managers and Ennis taxis, have organised informational highlights during the Purple Flag weekend. In particular, a stall will be open at Dunnes Stores this Friday, giving information about the Purple Flag and Ennis …

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Gold for Ennis and Kilrush in Tidy Towns

Both Ennis and Kilrush came agonisingly close to winning the national title in the National Tidy Towns competitions, the results of which were announced today (Monday). Ennis (321) and Kilrush (320) have both been awarded Gold Medals, finishing just 2 and 3 marks respectively off the overall competition winner, Letterkenny (323). Mountshannon won Silver and there were Bronze Medals for Ballynacally, Kilkee, Tuamgraney and Quin. Clarecastle won an Endeavour Award, while Ennis, Kilrush and Mountshannon claimed the County Awards. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen said, “Regardless of whether or not they have received an award in the national competition, each of Clare’s other Tidy Towns participants are already winners for the huge positive contribution they have made to their localities.” Chairperson of Ennis Tidy Towns Committee, Josephine Cotter Coughlan, stated, “We are delighted with our result this year and to have achieved an increase of seven marks on our 2014 score. The fact that Ennis finished just two …

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Ennis set for double class act

TWO new state-of-the-art primary schools have been approved for Ennis, it has been confirmed. Both Ennis CBS and Scoil Chríost Rí, Cloughleigh have been approved for the Rapid school building programme, with the new schools expected to to be built by September 2017 subject to planning. Dara Glynn, principal of Ennis CBS said, “It’s absolutely outstanding news, we’re over the moon. After so many years of waiting, this has been a project that has been in the pipeline for around 15 years. For all of a sudden to be told that we could possible be sitting in our new school building in two years time, it seems quite unreal.” The planned new Ennis CBS will be a 24 classroom school, including two special needs classes. It is expected that the new school will be built on the current school pitch, with the junior building eventually demolished. And it isn’t just primary pupils who will benefit from the plans, he revealed. …

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Room for a fleadh?

WITH hotel accommodation booked out in Ennis for the week of next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the Fleadh committee is urging homeowners to offer rooms for rent. Online attempts to make bookings for hotel rooms or B&Bs in Ennis for August 14 to 21 are proving unsuccessful for music fans, as the town braces itself to welcome hundreds of thousands of people. One initiative the Fleadh committee has put in place to help with providing beds is a register of private accommodation for rent. The initiative is already proving itself popular with homeowners locally who have signed up at www.thefleadhdowninennis.com to offer accommodation.

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From the Banner to Hollywood

A SHORT film co-produced by two Ennis companies and shot in Feakle is set to go from the Banner to Hollywood, having wowed the international film festival scene. The film, The Long Night Followed, has just won an award for Best Short Narrative at the TOFF International Film Festival based in New York and has been selected for the Miami Independent Film Festival and Los Angeles CineFest. Preparations are also being made for the film to be shown at an upcoming festival in Berlin. Lead actor Zeb Moore was also nominated for Best Actor at the 12 Months Film Festival in Romania. Hopes are high that local film lovers will get a chance to see the film, with efforts being made to have it screened at the upcoming Richard Harris International Film Festival. Co-produced by Scorpion Films and Black Umbrella Productions, the film was written and directed by Bill Bradshaw. Bill said the team have been very surprised by the …

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Run on the moon in Ennis

Active Ennis is giving local people the chance to trial the world’s first Alterg anti-gravity treadmill this Friday in the town centre. This piece of life-changing technology was engineered by NASA and as well as the fun of feeling what it’s like to walk on the moon it has the serious ability to get people moving again much sooner after illness or injury. Users step into the treadmill, the sealed chamber inflates around their waist and fills with air. Therapists can then select a percentage of bodyweight to take off the patient by adjusting the air pressure, allowing them to move without the burden of gravity on their lower limbs. John Carey, Duty Gym Manager at Active Ennis, the only facility in the county with an anti-gravity treadmill said: “We have been using our treadmill on a wide range of patients who have all experienced a quicker recovery time. The treadmill enables us to get our patients moving a lot …

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Ennis in new urban renewal funding scheme

Ennis has been selected as one of 17 Irish towns and cities eligible to benefit under a new urban renewal funding scheme. The Clare County Capital has been named among the locations included under the Designated Urban Centres Grants Scheme 2014 – 2020, announced by Government in July, which will enable investments in Irish urban centres to the order of €80 million for the period 2014-2020. The Scheme will involve European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding of approximately €40 million and matching funding from the relevant local authorities. “Ennis has in recent years been rejuvenated, particularly the wider town centre area thanks to ongoing investment from Clare County Council with the support of the local business community. With projects such as the West Clare Greenway and proposed redevelopment of the Market area, it is clear there is a solid commitment to making Ennis an attractive and vibrant location to live and work in, as well as visit,” commented Senator Tony …

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Scholarship on the menu for Oonagh

McDonald’s Ennis employee, Oonagh Wallace is one of just 15 employees of the fast food chain nationwide to be awarded a college scholarship. The student of International Law at University College Cork was presented with her scholarship by the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, TD, at an event in Dublin. The function was also attended by her parents and Kieran McDermott, owner operator of McDonald’s Ennis. The McDonald’s Scholarship Programme is an initiative which celebrates the hard work and dedication of McDonald’s employees, who are completing college and further education studies. Speaking at the awards, Minister English, TD, commentated: “Smart companies invest in their staff as the return on investment will lead to a better workforce and more satisfied customers. I would urge other companies in Ireland to look to McDonald’s and celebrate staff commitment by investing in their education.” Each winning employee receives €1,000 towards their education costs. Winners in the past have used the scholarship …

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