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Tag Archives: Ennis

The history of the Halfway House

HISTORY will come alive in The Halfway this week, when a very special recording will take place. Peadar White, whose family have lived on the Clare Road for generations, will be detailing a verbal history of both the Clare Road and The Halfway on this Friday night. He will be recorded, ensuring that the many stories of those who lived and worked in the area over the years will not be forgotten by future generations. Fittingly, the recording will take place at The Halfway and those visiting the venue at 8pm will get a chance to hear the historical stories firsthand. “The whole idea for this came about when I was on walkabouts and I saw signs up saying such and such a pub was so old, and another pub was another age. I said to Frank, my brother, who owns The Halfway, how old is this place? And he said, you do the history and we will find out,” …

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Keeping a watching brief on Sligo fleadh

THE final countdown to Ennis’ hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the county capital, is set to begin next week. Members of the working group in Ennis, along with representatives of the local authority, are travelling to this year’s host town of Sligo. On the final day of the celebrations, Sunday, August 16, the official handover of the Fleadh from Sligo to Ennis will be made. According to chairman of the working group, Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh, “Having the Fleadh here in Ennis is a huge event for us; it’s a challenge we have been waiting five years for and we’re really looking forward to it.” The handover, after which Ennis will officially be the Fleadh town, will take place at the closing ceremony, when the winners of the senior céilí band competition will play on the gig rig. “The countdown starts immediately then. From then on, Ennis will be the Fleadh town and …

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Recruitment underway at Hotel Woodstock

THE countdown to the re-opening of the landmark Woodstock in Ennis has begun, with the doors set to open at the end of this month. While the hotel is being opened on a phased basis, according to Choice Hotel Group, they are already taking bookings for all areas of the hotel, which is being re-branded Hotel Woodstock. The re-opening of the hotel is also set to create 50 jobs, with that figure expected to grow. Recruitment for positions across all departments has begun. The purchase of the Woodstock brings Choice Hotel Group’s portfolio to a total of seven hotels in Ireland and one in the UK. “We are very excited about this addition to our group of hotels, and believe that the local community are also looking forward to seeing the hotel back open,” says Darragh Brady, regional group general manager for Choice Hotel Group. “With a location just outside Ennis town and a short drive to Galway and Limerick …

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Crumbs of comfort for hard-pressed families

Mid West Simon has launched an emergency food appeal after it emerged that some families in Ennis and Kilrush were struggling to put food on the table. The charity told The Clare Champion that they “urgently need support in order to maintain our vital food banks in Ennis and Kilrush for families under severe financial pressure”. Mid West Simon general manager, Jackie Bonfield, said people who cannot pay for food are sometimes too embarrassed to ask for help. “It is difficult to understand how food poverty can be experienced by families or individuals in Clare but the facts are so clear. People are suffering behind closed doors and are often too ashamed to ask for help. Low incomes, high rents, high mortgage payments and increasing utility bills are forcing people to choose between food and bills,” she revealed. The most recent CSO statistics indicate that over 15% of the population is at risk of poverty, with more than 8% living …

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Escaped prisoner still on the loose

THE prisoner who escaped from Ennis Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon is still at large more than 24 hours later. Jason Freyne, a 22-year-old man from Carew Park in Limerick, appeared before Judge Patrck Durcan on Wednesday, where he accepted he had stolen a car in April and that he was also guilty of other related charges. He was already serving a sentence prior to his appearance before Judge Durcan, who adjourned the matter until Thursday but within hours, Mr Freyne had absconded. Shortly before 5pm on Thursday, gardaí confirmed that he has not been apprehended and the search for him continues.

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High radon levels in Ennis home

  A home in Ennis was found to have more than three times the acceptable level for radon gas, the equivalent to receiving two chest x-rays a day, according to figures revealed by the EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection. The details emerged as the EPA raised concerns about the low rate of testing for the cancer-causing gas in Clare. The figures show that in the first six months of 2015, three homes in Ennis and one in Doolin tested above the acceptable level of 200 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), with one home in Ennis measuring levels of 620Bq/m3. However, according to the EPA, the rate of testing in Clare is very low, with only 26 homes having been tested for radon in the first six months of 2015. A total of 4,301 homes have been tested in Clare to date and, of these, 538 tested above 200 Bq/m3. Commenting on the latest findings from the county, Stephanie Long, senior scientist with the …

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Clare, a county of culture

Plans to promote Clare as a County of Culture during 2016 have taken a significant step forward with the issuing of a call for expressions of interest for key cultural events and festivals during the year. The County of Culture initiative was first announced in March after Ennis was designated as the host town for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The Clare County Council-led initiative will incorporate the development of a programme of cultural events, to be promoted nationally and internationally, around the prestigious annual event which is expected to attract up to 400,000 people to Ennis in August 2016. The council is now calling on community groups and individuals throughout Clare to submit expressions of interest for cultural festivals and events that will form part of the County of Culture programme. The local authority anticipates that the scheme will support a minimum of four projects each to a maximum value of €10,000. Expressions of interest are invited from …

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Woodstock Hotel to reopen

FIFTY jobs are to be created at Woodstock Hotel, after the Choice Hotel Group bought the upmarket 67-bed hotel on the Shanaway Road, Ennis, for a reported €1m-plus. The hotel is to re-open on a phased basis, starting in the middle of next month, with the bar, lobby and bedrooms available to guests, while €750,000 in refurbishments are carried out to allow the hotel facilities – including its function/conference room, leisure centre (complete with 15-metre pool), restaurant, meeting rooms and spa – to be fully open for business by the end of September. Regional group general manager, Darragh Brady is currently in Ennis, overseeing the start up and recruitment of around 50 staff for the hotel. “It’s a fantastic hotel and we’re getting great support from local people, who are delighted to see Woodstock Hotel reopening as part of the Choice Hotel Group,” he said. The Choice Hotel Group is the largest four-star operator in Ireland, with over 1,300 rooms …

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