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Leading Clare motor dealer has changed hands

A CLARE business that has been trading for nearly seven decades has been sold in one of the county’s most significant deals of 2022. Western Garages of Ennis has been operating as the main Volkswagen dealership in Clare for the last 66 years and has been acquired this week by Pierse Motors. The business has established itself as one of the region’s premier motor dealerships employing 20 staff members. Justin Wall and Brendan J Wall of Western Garages said, “We would like to sincerely thank our customers for their loyalty and custom over the past 66 years. The success of Western Garages would not have been possible without the loyalty of our customers. “We have a team of exceptional staff, who are trained to the highest standards and will continue to work with the Pierse Motor Group and be on hand to offer their expertise to customers from June 22. “We are confident that the Pierse Motor Group will continue …

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Traffic management plan in place for Spancilhill Fair

A ONE way traffic system will be implemented in the vicinity of Spancil Hill on the R325 Ennis/Tulla Road between 7.30am and 6pm on Thursday, June, 23. Traffic heading from Ennis to Tulla will proceed as normal throughout the day. Traffic coming from Tulla towards Ennis will diverted left at Norrie Henchy’s Bar. To proceed following ‘Detour Ahead’ signs for Ennis as far as the Quin Road, Lynch’s Cross and/or proceed following Detour ahead signs for M18 Motorway through Lynches cross and exiting at Killoo East junction. Gardaí advise there will be four car parks for vehicles not pulling trailers/possession of animals. These will be situated in: Kelly’s Car Park/Field – non-towing vehicles only (from Ennis direction); Duggan’s (pub) Car Park – non-trailer/towing vehicles only (from Ennis direction); McGrath Car Park – non-trailer/towing vehicles only (from Tulla direction) and Carolan’s Car Park – non-towing vehicles only (from Crusheen/Gort direction). The Fair-Field and McDonagh’s fields for vehicles towing horses/trucks only etc. …

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Motorists go down electric avenue for GAA club fundraiser

AN Ennis man who recently returned from a humanitarian mission helping Ukrainians flee the war with Russia is this week embarking on a fundraising mission a little closer to home. This Saturday John Casey, founder of the Tesla Owners Group in Ireland and fellow electric vehicle enthusiast ex international rugby player Peter Bracken, will be setting off on a mammoth trip around Clare to raise funds for the Banner GAA. They will visit every GAA club in the county on their journey of more than 550km. John explains that as well as raising money for capital development at the club the trip will also help challenge the perception that electric vehicles cannot travel long ranges. “There are 52 GAA clubs in County Clare and the distance to be covered is approximately 550km starting and finishing at the Banner GAA grounds in Ennis. We will be travelling to the four corners of the county from Naomh Eoin in the West to …

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Daughter of EuroMillions winner faces driving ban

THE 38-year old daughter of a EuroMillions winner is set to receive an automatic driving ban over an incident in Ballina last year. This follows solicitor for Kevanne McNamara, Daragh Hassett telling Ennis District Court on Tuesday that his client is to enter a plea of guilty to a single count of dangerous driving. A conviction for dangerous driving will result in a mandatory driving ban for Ms McNamara of Ard Coillte, Ballina, Co Tipperary as a judge has no discretion in the matter and must impose a ban. Kevanne McNamara’s family connection to Dolores McNamara, who won a then record €115 million EuroMillions jackpot in August 2005, was not referred to in court. In total, Ms McNamara is facing charges concerning four driving-related alleged offences that include two counts of dangerous driving from one day in July last year. The four charges include a charge of Ms McNamara driving her 11-C registered car under the influence of an intoxicant …

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Ennis junction like ‘Russian Roulette’ for drivers

DRIVERS are “taking risks every single day” at a notorious road junction in Ennis, with one councillor likening it to “Russian Roulette”. The frustrations of residents on the Shanaway Road who are awaiting road safety improvements were highlighted at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. An update from the roads design team on any progress made regarding the exit from Shanaway road onto Lahinch Road was sought by Councillor Mark Nestor following contact from residents. The meeting was told by council officials that designs for Active Travel Measures are being developed. Michael O’Grady, Executive Engineer, stated, “The Road Design Office have recently completed a topographical survey of the N85 from Claureen roundabout to the start of the speed limit zone, conceptual design options for Active Travel Measures are being developed for this area, the Shanaway Road junction is being incorporated in these designs.” Councillor Nestor acknowledged the response and welcomed the survey however he continued, “that’s all well …

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Driver behaviour endangering pedestrians on narrow Ennis road

A MAN has been struck twice by passing cars on a stretch of local road which sees motorists engage in “games of cat and mouse” prompting calls by Ennis councillors for the introduction of a temporary reduced speed limit. Increasing volumes of traffic on the narrow local road at Kilbricken that runs from Ballaghboy cross/Quin road to the N85 Dual Carriageway has resulted in “a nightmare” for those living in the area, a meeting of local councillors has heard. Speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, deputy mayor Councillor Paul Murphy outlined that growing numbers of traffic “has resulted in increased traffic jams/snarls, incidences of verbal altercations between motorists and games of cat and mouse as to which driver can beat the oncoming car to the next passing point.” He continued, “Residents living on the road have to endure this on a daily basis and have made me aware that a local man has been struck by a …

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Shannon NCT centre scrapped over ‘contractual difficulties’

A proposed new NCT that was due open in Shannon will now not be developed. The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has confirmed that the development has been halted “due to significant contractual difficulties”, and that “alternative locations in the area are being sourced”. Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara, who received the news in response to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Transport, said it would come as a disappointment to the people of the town and the wider south and south-east Clare area. “Construction work on the new centre had already commenced at the Smithstown Industrial Estate as far back as last summer, including the erecting of the centre’s steel structure, and it was expected that the centre would be operational by the end of last year,” said the deputy. “This is very disappointing news as it would have inevitably contributed to reduced waiting times for tests at Clare’s only other operational centre in Ennis.” Deputy McNamara said …

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Council seeks to allay fears for Killaloe bypass project

AN ASSURANCE has been issued on the delivery of the Killaloe Bypass and Shannon Bridge Crossing, against the backdrop of rising costs in the construction industry.  The matter was raised at Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council on foot of the monthly Management Report. Councillor Pat Burke noted a paragraph referring to the “inflationary cost of building projects” and sought an assurance that the multi-million bridge and bypass are on track. “There is a little bit of concern on the ground,” the Fine Gael member noted.  Senior Engineer at the Project Management Office, Seán Lenihan agreed that there are a number of challenges facing big infrastructural projects. “Everybody knows about the pressures the construction industry is facing,” he said. “Our project is no different. This job was priced last August and we concluded negotiations with SISK. I would like to allay any fears. SISK have not withdrawn. The department has not withdrawn any funding. There are some genuine concerns over …

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