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The O'Connell Monument in Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

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 shops have been encouraged by Ennis Chamber to take part in a purple window competition.

Chairman of the Ennis Purple Flag Working Group, Councillor Johnny Flynn said Ennis was the first town in Ireland to be awarded Purple Flag status in 2013. Having successfully gone through its renewal procedure earlier this year, it has since been joined by 13 other towns and cities all over Ireland, as a destination of excellence in evening and night-time.

“I have recently joined the newly-formed Purple Flag Ireland networking meeting in Sligo, where representatives of 10 Irish Purple Flag towns were present.

“This sort of connection enables great sharing of information, which is hugely beneficial. I was able to pick up some great tips and best-practice examples for Ennis’ evening and night-time, as well as outline our own successes to others here.

“Our focus here in Ennis continues to be on safety and perception and we are going to work even stronger with Ennis gardaí in promoting the success and the good news stories of the town’s vibrant and well-managed evening and night-time economy,” he told The Clare Champion.

The Purple Flag programme is run by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) and there are now almost 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation.

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