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Investment in walking and cycling will have a positive impact says Better Ennis

A NEW Ennis based community group advocating for “healthy and happy streets” believe investment in walking and cycling infrastructure in the proposed Programme for Government will have a positive impact on public health and the local economy. The proposed Programme for Government includes a ring-fenced investment of €360m in walking and cycling infrastructure throughout Ireland. Better Ennis have welcomed what it describes as a “serious investment” in active travel infrastructure. The Programme for Government includes the commitment to develop a national network of greenways – not only as tourist amenities, but designed and implemented so that they can be used by students, commuters and people enjoying cycling as their daily physical exercise. There is a focus on increasing the numbers of children walking and cycling to school and Better Ennis say will have a “huge positive impact” in reducing traffic within Ennis town. “It is important that the active travel infrastructure is well designed, implemented, and maintained, and in that …

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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 …

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CCTV cameras needed at Drumcliff Cemetery due to “demented and disrespectful” behaviour

GRIEVING families are “distraught” and feel their deceased loved ones are being “forgotten about” after being buried in part of Drumcliff cemetery. While reports of items disappearing from graves in the older section of the cemetery has been condemned as “appalling and upsetting” sparking calls for CCTV cameras to be installed. Councillor Mark Nestor, speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, urged works are needed to improve the layout of the burial ground and provide greater connectivity between the old and new sections. He pointed out that there is a row of trees acting as a barrier between two sections. He outlined that people who have family members buried in Drumcliff are “in a very, very bad way and are very distraught at the layout of the graveyard.” He said, “Those who have people buried in the new section feel very much they have been forgotten about and left out. If you look at the whole row of …

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Councillor Paul Murphy “honoured” to be elected new Mayor of Ennis

CLARECASTLE’S Councillor Paul Murphy said he is “honoured” to don the chain of office after his election as the new Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District. The occasion, usually marked with handshakes and hugs of congratulations, was a very different affair this year with social distancing due to Covid-19. Taking the helm of the Ennis Municipal District meeting this week following his election the councillor admitted “Not being able to shake hands, it’s surreal. Hopefully going forward Covid will die down and we can revert back to what we normally are. I miss the warmth of a handshake or an embrace from a friend.” He paid tribute to his predecessor Councillor Johnny Flynn describing him as a “shining beacon for the town, a real townie”. He outlined that there is a lot of work ongoing within the district, including the development of the mobility plan which has proved valuable in adapting to Covid-19. Councillor Murphy believes that the strives made …

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New Artistic Director announced for Ennis Book Club Festival

A NEW artistic director has been announced for the Ennis Book Club Festival. Dani Gill’s appointment follows on from Paul Perry who was the artistic director with the festival for the last four years. Dani and the committee will now begin work on programming for the 15th Ennis Book Club Festival which will take place on the first weekend of March in 2021. Dani has a wealth of experience in delivering festivals and is passionate about making literature accessible to all. She is a curator, producer, writer and educator, based in the west of Ireland. She is also the national Audience Development Officer for Words Ireland and was the Director of Cúirt International Festival of Literature from 2010-2016. She is very keen on developing outreach, access to the arts and community development projects. Dani’s first collection of poems was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017 and she has just completed a novel. Her literary hybrid show ‘Mirrors’, was part of the International Literature Festival Dublin, 2019. …

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Thunder storms prompt swimming ban at Ballyalla Lake

EXTREME thunder showers last Monday evening have prompted a ban on swimming in Ballyalla Lake, because of a spike in bacteria levels. Clare County Council and the HSE have issued the temporary swimming ban, which will remain in place until levels of bacteria drop. “The situation is being monitored regularly,” a council statement said. “The probation on swimming will be removed when the bacterial levels recede to acceptable levels. The elevated bacterial levels are as result of the extreme thunder showers which took place on Monday evening last.”

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Ennis pedestrianisation plan angers Abbey Street newsagent

AN ENNIS newsagent has voiced his concern over recently-introduced pedestrianisation measures, which have blocked access for deliveries to his premises. Gerry Connellan of Abbey Newsagents said that the erection of bollards close to his shop will make handling deliveries extremely difficult. The businessman, who has run the newsagents for decades, said he is able to manage currently – albeit with considerable inconvenience, but fears the impact of a spike in congestion from next Monday. The busy shop is located at the junction of Abbey Street and the Abbey Street car park, and relies on being able to receive deliveries seven-days-a-week. “First of all, there are bollards outside the shop, so I have to drive up onto a kerb which is two or three inches high,” he outlined. “Access to the shop is essential for me, as it is for all of the traders on the street.” Mr Connellan also hit out at the lack of consultation on the process. “As …

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Showing a little kindness at Cootes

AS is so often the case when campaigns of any sort begin, it was one single incident that led to the random act of kindness phenomenon that has unfolded in an Ennis shop. It is yet another example of how people have rallied around to help each cope with the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stephen Coote, owner of Cootes shop and bakery at Cahercalla Cross on the Kilrush Road, is amazed by the number of people that have been drawn to the notion of “strangers helping strangers” though their local store. Trade at Cootes has been badly affected by Covid-19, as there is no activity at the Éire Óg GAA grounds across the road and nearby St Flannan’s College is closed The random act of kindness idea began on Easter Saturday, April 11, when the Covid-19 regulations were being ratcheted up. Stephen said, “A woman who was out for a walk came into the shop …

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