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Digital school status for Bansha

BANSHA National School in Doonbeg was recently awarded Digital National School status for the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning. An awards ceremony was held recently at the school and was attended by pupils, teachers and parents.Bansha National School is a three-teacher school situated at the western end of Doonbeg parish. The award was achieved with board of management support, led by chairperson Paddy Flanagan, through grants from the Department of Education and Science, fundraising and the implementation of ICT policy in the school by staff members.The school is now equipped with computers, laptops, interactive whiteboards, data projectors, digital cameras and visualisers.

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Towing proposal removed from bylaws

CONTROVERSIAL plans to allow Ennis Town Council to tow away vehicles parked in market bays on trading days have been removed from new casual trading bylaws, which were adopted this week by the local authority.Members of the council unanimously voted to remove the bylaw, with Councillor Johnny Flynn describing the proposed tow-away system as “a sledgehammer to crack a nut”. Councillor Frankie Neylon argued the plans would prevent people from coming to do their shopping in the town.However, while it was agreed to remove the bylaw allowing for the towing away of vehicles, town manager Ger Dollard warned that cars could still be removed by gardaí if they are deemed to be causing an obstruction and that warning signage for motorists would be placed in the market areas.Mr Dollard told councillors the current bylaws are “unsatisfactory” dating back to 1988 and he urged that the new casual trading bylaws be adopted.Councillors also opposed plans to create a Christmas tree selling …

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Inaugural Ennis Fringe Festival

The inaugural Ennis Fringe Festival of the Arts will be launched next week and will see a host of artists, musicians and photographers showcase their wares at a variety of venues across the county town.Organised by a small committee of artists, the event aims to help provide artists with a space to exhibit their work while at the same time encouraging the visiting public to support local businesses such as the participating venues include cafes, restaurants and pubs.The festival will kick off on Thursday, July 14 in the Beehive Cafe on O’Connell Street, where there will be a contemporary photographic exhibition featuring photographers Tommy Kelly, Patrick Ryan and David Cremins.A painting exhibition will go on display in Cafe Roma, featuring David O’Rourke, Kevin Quinlan, Sinéad Slattery, James Halley, Hilary Gilmore and Philip Brennan.On Friday, July 15, the official opening of the festival will take place at No 8 Carmody Street at the Custom Tattoo and Art Gallery from 7pm, where …

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Twists and turns of new labyrinth to benefit St Anne’s pupils

THE children of St Anne’s School were ‘a-mazed’ this week at the launch of their very own garden labyrinth. The garden project has seen the creation of a labyrinth at the school, with principal Caroline Lodge saying that this will be of great benefit to the children.“At St Anne’s School, we are very lucky to have the outdoor space to develop a project such as the children’s labyrinth. We already have an extensive multi-sensory playground and are seeking to develop the school grounds to meet the needs of our pupils. We like to involve the pupils and parents in gardening projects throughout the year and the labyrinth will provide us with a magical and unique area for the children to benefit from,” she explained.She added that a labyrinth is an ancient pattern that has been found throughout the world in many forms and sizes. They are different from mazes, as there is only one path that leads to the centre …

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New mayor to honour those who have made a difference

ENNIS’ newly elected Mayor Michael Guilfoyle wasted no time in outlining his plans for his year in office, announcing moments after his election this week that he intends to honour people who have made a difference in the town.Speaking after taking the chain of office on Monday, he said, “With the support of the members of the council, I would like to see a return of civic recognition for people who have made a difference to the town. In the next couple of months, I would like people who have made a difference, whether this year or 20 years ago.”At the mayoral election, Councillor Guilfoyle, who lost his seat on the council in 2004 and regained it again in 2009, was likened to that other Turnpike man Muhammad Ali, with Councillor Frankie Neylon describing him as “The Comeback Kid”.“They say people from the Turnpike are great fighters and you proved that when you came back,” said Councillor Neylon.Councillor Guilfoyle was …

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Regatta fever spreads through Clarecastle

FOLLOWING the rowing success of last year’s Clarecastle Regatta, the event will return once again this July. Organisers are promising an event to remember, with activities to entertain both the young, and young at heart.Performing the official launch will be Sean McGowan, who single handedly rowed across the Atlantic Ocean last year. Sean’s grandmother was originally from Clarecastle and he has strong ties to the area. He said he is delighted to have been asked to launch the regatta adding, “Clarecastle is a lovely place with lovely people and I am really looking forward to the regatta.”This year’s regatta will take place on Saturday, July 9 on the River Fergus and its banks. The regatta was a popular annual summer event in years gone by and last year, it was revitalised.According to Donal Carey, chairman of the organising committee, “The Clarecastle Regatta was staged last year for the first time in over 20 years and a very successful and enjoyable …

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Local fears allayed with official Tim Smythe playground opening

AT the opening of the new €240,000 state-of-the-art Tim Smythe Park playground this week, Councillor Peter Considine moved to allay the concerns of local residents after the playground became the scene for anti-social behaviour in recent months.“The CCTV cameras are up and running and the lighting is well on its way… I’m sure it will settle down and the playground will benefit families from both inside and outside the town of Ennis. The vision of this is of a family orientated facility,” he said.Councillor Considine, who performed the opening ceremony alongside then mayor of Ennis, Councillor Tommy Brennan, commented, “Like all projects, there are teething problems and initial fears and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Ennis Town Council who early on when the worries of local residents began to raise their heads, they went into an intensive consultation process. This process is ongoing and I think it has been very, very successful,” the …

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Two charities let Ennis dogs have their day

THEY say every dog has its day. Well in Ennis this weekend, hundreds of dogs will have their very own doggy day in aid of two local charities. Darren O’Connor of Doggy Daycare at the Ballymaley Business Park has organised a five-kilometre dog walk and family fun day for this Sunday. He is expecting nearly 500 pooches to get involved and help raise money for these worthy causes.The sponsored walk will raise funds for Paw Pourri Rescue Centre and Clare Animal Welfare and Darren is encouraging dog lovers to come along and show their support. You don’t even have to own a dog to get involved, as a number of dogs currently looking for foster homes will also be there on the day for people to walk.The event begins at 11am at Doggy Day Care and owners and their dogs will walk five kilometres from the Ballymaley Business Park to Ballyalla and back again. As well as the walk, there …

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