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Clare Gift Card hailed a success as the public gets behind local business

ENNIS Chamber’s Clare Gift Card initiative attracted sales of more than €125,000 in the run up to Christmas, it has been confirmed. The business representative group has described the success of the card launched in November as proof positive of the outstanding support from the people of Clare as they got behind local businesses for Christmas 2020. “Ennis Chamber has a track history in the vouchers market, having previously sold Ennis Gold Gift Vouchers, but we realised during the first lockdown that we had to move away from a paper-based voucher scheme this year to offer a gift card solution that could be purchased locally but also online. As with many of our fellow chambers around Ireland we opted to outsource the delivery of Clare Gift Card to One4all who could ensure sales of the card through local post offices as well as online,” said Margaret O’Brien, CEO, Ennis Chamber. “We used local press, radio and social media to push …

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Banner teams strive for title of Ireland’s fittest family

TWO ultra-fit Clare families will put their strength and stamina to the test on national television over the coming weeks in a bid to be crowned Ireland’s Fittest Family. The hit TV show, which already features Clare man and Wexford hurling boss, Davy Fitzgerald, will see the Kulczynski family from Ennis and the O’Halloran family from Newpark, Kilkishen go through extreme endurance challenges in settings from ski slopes to bogs. Over the course of the series, which started last Sunday on RTÉ One, a total of 16 families will be whittled down to four for a gruelling final contest, from which only one winning team can emerge. With highly impressive fitness credentials, the Kulczynski family are hotly tipped to stay in contention until the very end. Elite junior triathlete, Sabian has multiple national titles in triathlons, aquathons and duathlons and represents Ireland in competitions across Europe. He is a swimmer, mountain biker, road biker and used to run cross country. …

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Ennis gym sources €3,000 donations for local food drive

UP TO €3,000 worth of food and other essential supplies have been donated by members of an Ennis gym to families in need in the community over Christmas. In the run-up to the festive season, Mike Hogan of Ozone Health and Fitness asked members to donate whatever non-perishable products they could to support local families who need extra help at this time of year. “We did it for the first time in 2019 and collected around 150 kilos of food and other products,” said Mike. “This year, everyone was so conscious of how tough things have been for so many and we were delighted to reach 500 kilos of food and other basic supplies. I’m awful proud of everyone. We have fantastic members. Sometimes, there can be a bit of scepticism about charities and where the money goes, but we proved that what we are doing is supporting genuine people in our own community. People are really fantastic when they’re …

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Minister gives ‘firm commitment’ to complete ‘funding jigsaw’ to develop Ennis’ historic town centre

THE Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke has given “a firm commitment” that the government will complete the “funding jigsaw” to develop Ennis’ historic town centre. Last year Ennis received €3.85 million in Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) support as part  of the town centre regeneration programme, which involved extensive works at Parnell Street and the network of lanes and bow-ways in the medieval heart of the town. Earlier this year Clare County Council submitted a proposal for further support under the second call of the URDF. The ambitious proposal sought funding for vital public realm works at Barrack Street, Old Barrack Street, O’Connell Square, High Street and Old Connell Street. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Joe Carey urged Minister Burke and his department “to give this key rejuvenation scheme favourable consideration”. The local Fine Gael TD said, “A number of months ago, Clare County Council lodged a further ambitious urban regeneration and development fund application to …

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Flan named Clare Shedder of the Year

FLAN Hehir, of Ennis Mens’ Shed has been named Clare Shedder of the Year. To celebrate the work carried out within Men’s Sheds in County Clare, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) programme within Clare Local Development Company developed the ‘Clare Shedder of the Year’ award. This was as a recognition to the work carried out in local Sheds within the county. Men’s Sheds were asked to nominate someone they believed fit the criteria of Clare Shedder of the Year. Monica McKenna, Community Development Officer with Clare Local Development Company says, “A large number of nominations were received and after some deliberation Flan Hehir from Ennis Men’s Shed was found to be a worthy recipient. Flan joined Ennis Men’s Shed early 2014 and immediately understood the concept of Men’s Sheds and the benefits to community. He was chosen not only for the help and support he gives to his own shed but also the support he gives throughout …

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Clarecastle to benefit from works to end the discharge of untreated sewage

WORKS aimed at ending the discharge of untreated sewage into the River Fergus are to begin in the new year, Irish Water have confirmed. Irish Water, working in partnership with Clare County Council, is progressing with works to upgrade the sewerage infrastructure in Clarecastle. This will help eliminate the discharge of untreated wastewater into the River Fergus and the greater Shannon Estuary, bringing significant environmental, social and economic benefits to the area. This project involves the construction of 2.1km of new wastewater pipelines and upgrades to the existing Quay Road wastewater pump station.  The first phase of works involve the construction of 311m of sewer main between Clarecastle Church and Quay Road are due to get underway on January 4, 2021 for a period of five weeks. These works have been brought forward in order to facilitate the Clarecastle Streetscape Rejuvenation Plan which is being supported by Clare County Council, Clarecastle Community Development Committee and the local Tidy Towns group and …

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Ennis Railway Station on track for accessibility

ENNIS Railway Station is on track to being more accessible to people with reduced mobility. A new accessible footbridge crossing with stairs and lift is to open at the station in the start of the new year. This follows a €1 million investment by Iarnód Éireann, enabling people with reduced mobility as well as those with buggies and prams to have better access. Councillor Johnny Flynn, who has been campaigning for the move for 10 years has welcomed the development saying, “I welcome the circa € 1 million investment in wheelchair / buggy / pedestrian lifts and cross track bridge opening after Christmas at Ennis Railway Station. This will make rail transport to and from Ennis  more accessible to all by having accessible use of both platforms at all times and improve travel times by eliminating current occasional delays of up to 15 mins when simultaneous safe wheelchair user access is required from platform 1 to both Galway and Limerick …

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West Coast Motorcycle Club rev up €2,000 for St Clare’s school

THE West Coast Motorcycle Club have revved up behind plans for the creation of a sensory memorial garden at St Clare’s School in Ennis. While Covid-19 has seen many charitable events cancelled this year, the annual Toy Run by the West Coast Motorcycle Club went ahead earlier this month raising an amazing €2,000 for St Clare’s. John Murphy of the motorcycle club said they were delighted to be able to once again do the toy run for St Clare’s “even in these different times”. He explained the reason behind the event was “simply to give back something to those who need it most”. He added, “The school are raising funds to establish a sensory memory garden as a thoughtful tribute to all the young people and members of St Clare’s community who have sadly passed away over the years. This will be a quiet reflective place where one can be comforted and inspired.” John expressed appreciation to everybody who supported …

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