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Calls for ‘socially distant’ community space at Ennis Market

ENNIS’ Market Building could be used to create a ‘socially distant’ community space where locals and visitors can sit down and enjoy food and beverages, it has been suggested.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Councillor Clare Colleran-Molloy believes that the building could be used to support efforts within the town to promote social distancing in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The transformation of the Ennis Market would also provide a boost to local restaurants by providing additional seating.
The idea is now set to be brought to the stakeholders group involved in the Temporary Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan for review.
Councillor Colleran-Molloy proposed the idea for developing a seating area in the market at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. She explained, “As it will be a while before we will be back up and running, and based on contributions received from the public, I would ask that the Market Building be utilised as a community area with tables and chairs provided so that visitors to Ennis can avail of a coffee and a treat, purchased from our takeout restaurants, all while practising social distancing of course.”
Leonore O’Neill, senior executive officer, responded to the proposal, “The Temporary Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan stakeholders group are currently reviewing all measures on an ongoing basis to assess their effectiveness to ensure that the public can access Ennis safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All additional measures including the use of public spaces and the market building will be examined by the group to evaluate their merit for Ennis as a whole, and to ensure they are responsive to the changing needs of Ennis town as it moves towards recovery.”
Councillor Colleran-Molloy welcomed the response describing the stakeholder group as “robust”. She stated that a number of members of the public had approached her about using the Market in this way, adding, “I understand it is a balancing act”.
The Market Building located in the heart of Ennis first opened in 2016 as part of a €1.75 million re-development of the wider area. It had been expected to revitalise the local area, however the facility has been more frequently used as a car park.

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