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Crafty Crew’s Christmas cheer

WOOL might be more closely associated with Christmas jumpers at this time of year, but one Ennis school has used their knitting skills to create a very special addition to the festive season. Ennis National School’s ‘Crafty Crew’ have created a community Christmas tree with the help of parents, grandparents and others. The tree is now standing proudly in the window of Insomnia in the Ennis Shopping Centre on Francis Street for all to see. The tree and accompanying festive display is made of hundreds of squares of knitting. Earlier this year the school put out a call to the public to donate squares of knitting which have joined the patches created by the students. Teacher Ciara Harding tells us they were delighted with the response, and the students were thrilled to see their tree put on display. “Over the past three years we have combined our work at school with squares from parents, grandparents and friends of Ennis National School …

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Ennis Christmas pedestrianisation begins this weekend

CHRISTMAS pedestrianisation of Ennis’ main street begins this weekend, while free parking at public carparks is also being introduced at certain times for the festive season. O’Connell Square and O’Connell Street will be car free from 11am to 6pm on December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 to 24 inclusive. The Ennis Christmas Market takes place in Abbey Street Car Park from this Friday until Sunday and as a result, the west of the main through road, adjacent to the river between Costa Coffee and O’Briens, is unavailable from 6pm Wednesday, November 30 until 8am on Monday, December 6. Abbey Street Car Park will be unavailable during these times. Until Sunday, January, 2 there will be no charge in public car parks from 2pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Additional parking free of charge has been made available at Clare County Council headquarters on December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 from 9am to 6pm. Free parking is also available at …

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Need for Old Military Barracks re-paint brought to attention

LOCAL authority houses in Old Military Barracks which haven’t been painted for over ten years have been described as “terrible”, with calls being made on the council to take action. The issue was raised at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District where Councillor Pat Daly told how residents of Old Military Barracks on the Kilrush Road have asked for houses 19, 20 and 21 to be painted. An outdoor stairs adjacent to the houses also need to be painted, he said. The council agreed that a make-over of the outside of the houses “would enhance the general area”, however there is not enough funds in the budget the meeting was told. Councillor Daly commented, “These houses are terrible, particularly these three.” He suggested that if there is no budget that the council could pay for the paint and the residents would carry out the painting. Tony Neville, Senior Executive Engineer, stated, “No.s 19, 20 and 21 Old Military …

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Advent by Candlelight at Ennis Cathedral

ON Sunday, December 5 at 7pm there will be an evening of candlelit song at Ennis Cathedral. The event will include a selection of Advent hymns, poetry and music performed by familiar faces and voices. The candlelight evening will see Ennis Cathedral Musicians and singers tell the story of Advent through music and song. Entry is free but donations if desired to the Cathedral Renovation appeal.

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Burren flowers inspire brilliant designs

AN Ennistymon-based jewellery maker has been chosen from hundreds of crafts people nationwide to participate in a prestigious exhibition organised by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. Rowena Sheen is based at the Courthouse Gallery in the bustling North Clare town. She is among the highly skilled markers whose work will be on show in the National Design and Craft Gallery in Kilkenny until January 30, before the exhibition moves to Dublin and later the North of Ireland. The Made in Ireland exhibition has gathered together the largest visual and sensory feast of fresh ideas and craftsmanship and offers an insight into current activity in skilled making on a national scale. It is not only reflective of the skills of Ireland’s community of makers, but it also celebrates work by different generations of the same family, and by collaborative groups and partnerships. It also demonstrates the importance of passing on skills, of cross-pollination and innovation. Rowena takes inspiration from …

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Irish Water accused of throwing up roadblocks to development in Clare

IRISH Water has been accused of creating “a huge obstacle” to the development of rural Clare. At a meeting of the council’s committee on Physical Development, frustration was aired at the fact that the authority is striving to protect water quality while Irish Water is unable to provide critical infrastructure in some locations. Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy made her comments following a presentation from Ruairí Ó Conchúir of the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO). Mr Ó Conchúir outlined the pressures on waterways across the Mid-West region, after which the Fianna Fáil member asked him if he believed there is a policy problem when it comes to funding waste water treatment. Thanking Mr Ó Conchúir for his presentation, the Ennis member noted the recent criticism of Irish Water by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the discharge of raw sewage at a number of coastal locations. “I want your opinion on this,” she said. “Do you think a different approach needs …

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Ennis Musical Society is desperate for men!

Society ideal for those looking for love says chairperson as plea issued for male voices “WE need men”. That’s the message from the Ennis Musical Society who have put out a desperate plea for the men of county Clare to get involved in their upcoming show Legally Blonde. As if taking part in a fun show isn’t enough of an incentive, chairperson of the society Rachael Culligan reveals that the society is the ideal place to be for those looking for love. She describes the group as “almost the Tinder of Ennis” with many couples meeting and falling in love after joining. “It’s kind of a wonderful dating service I would say,” she laughs. The Ennis Musical Society are holding auditions for the show in January, and Rachael is urging men to put themselves forward. Auditions had been scheduled to take place this weekend, however the society have decided to pause those plans due to Covid-19 and they are instead …

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Call to drive on with Killaloe Ballina plan

AN ambitious plan for the twin lakeside towns of Killaloe and Ballina was adopted at the November meeting of local councillors, paving the way for a range of enhancement works. The Killaloe and Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan, (TEMP) outlines a number of key projects for both sides of the Shannon, including future pedestrianisation of the old bridge once the new bridge and bypass are completed. Measures to boost walking and cycling are outlined as well as actions to connect the flow of traffic to the bypass, reducing the number of vehicles in the centre of the two towns. The drafting of the plan involved extensive public consultation and cooperation, over the course over over a year, between the local authorities in Clare and Tipperary. The blueprint was warmly welcomed by Councillor Tony O’Brien who commended senior planner Brian McCarthy and the Killaloe Municipal District team. “This is simply a fantastic plan, I have been saying that the greatest …

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