CLARE Marts in Ennis is set to be turned into a car park – but not permanently. The Lions Club of Ennis has secured the Quin Road site to provide parking on this Sunday and Sunday, June 17, to cater for the massive crowds expected to turn out for both the Munster Hurling Championship round robin games in Cusack Park, and the Fleadh Nua.
As well as providing 500 parking spaces for Clare’s hurling and traditional music fans, the venture will also raise funds for local charities. On Sunday, Clare will take on Waterford, while on June 17 the home team will take on the Shannonsiders for a fixture that traditionally packs out the county grounds.
James O’Loughlin, of the Lions Club of Ennis, explains that the money raised from the parking will go towards the club’s ongoing charitable work locally, such as the annual old folks’ holiday and Christmas food appeal.
“The proceeds from the parking will all go to local Clare-based charities. We are delighted with the idea for this fundraising event, which came collectively from the club as we were looking at the rejigged format for the games, and we hope it will be a great success.
“With capacity crowds expected in Ennis on Sunday, May 27 and Sunday, June 17 for the two home round robin games for Clare hurlers, parking is going to be a big issue for patrons. In addition, the Fleadh Nua is scheduled for this weekend in Ennis also.”
He emphasised that this will be a supervised car park, with volunteers on hand during opening times.
“The hard surface area is ideal to alleviate traffic congestion and will be available from 12 noon to 7pm on both days. It is just over 10 minutes walk to Cusack Park, and allows for easy exit after the game to the motorway and other routes.”
He added that the Lions Club has been working on a traffic management plan for the site with gardaí to ensure that everything runs smoothly. “We are planning on having the supporters from Waterford and Limerick on the motorway as soon as possible. And of course supporters from Clare will be well aware of how convenient the Clare Marts site is and we are sure they will come along and avail of this opportunity to not only park in an ideal location, but also to help raise funds for local charities.”
By Jessica Quinn