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Ennis

Coláiste pupils moot age-friendly plan

SIGNAGE-making motorists in Ennis aware of elderly pedestrians, reduced prices for pensioners and a lengthening of traffic light times. These are just some of the innovative ideas being put forward by Coláiste Muire pupils who believe that the town has the potential to become an Age Friendly Town.Transition-year pupils of Coláiste Muire, led by teacher Finola Howard, have carried out extensive research into the needs of the town’s older population as part of their Young Social Innovators project on Positive Ageing.As well as the research, the students have also been busy providing computer lessons for the elderly in a programme called Log and Learn and they are planning other initiatives such as a grave-cleaning service, providing high-visibility jackets and a paired walking initiative. The project involves the whole of transition year and students Muireann O’Shea, Aoife Sheehan, Róisín Curran, Jenny Hansbury, Orla Bredin and Sarah O’Reilly explained what it is all about.Muireann said, “2012 is the European Year for Active …

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Vet nurses up for awards

THEY say it’s a dog eat dog world but not so for veterinary nurses Bev Truss and Nicola Kildea. The colleagues and good friends, who work at Charles Kenny’s on Carmody Street, have both been nominated in the same category for the Irish Veterinary Nurses Association’s annual Veterinary Nurse of the Year award. However, while they are both up for the award, the pair insist there is no rivalry between them.Bev explained that each month, nominations are made in three categories, veterinary nurse of the year, student veterinary nurse of the year and support staff. Each month, a nomination in each category is then chosen to go onto the finals, with the winners announced at a gala dinner at the IVNA congress in May. “We don’t know who nominated us. The IVNA just send you an email to say you’ve been nominated and there’s definitely no rivalry between us. “This is huge, we’re absolutely thrilled folk would go out of …

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Clare volunteering in 2011 valued at €204,000

2011 was a great year for volunteering in Clare  with over 239 volunteers registering with Clare Volunteer Centre in Ennis. Volunteers worked over 9,342 hours in 2011 and using the average industrial wage, this work equates a value of over €204,000.Of the volunteers who signed up in 2011, the most popular areas of interest were health and disability and youth/children. The most popular reasons for wanting to volunteer were ‘free time’ and ‘give something back’.  60% of the volunteers who signed up with the Volunteer Centre last year had never volunteered before. Over 100 organisations are now registered with Clare Volunteer Centre. Last year, 34 new organisations registered with the centre.Commenting on the success of last year, Sharon Meaney said, “2011 was the European Year of Volunteering so we were delighted to help 239 Clare residents to start volunteering. It’s remarkable to see that the work of Clare volunteers in 2011 amounted to a value of over €204,000 but really, …

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Busy Christmas at dog shelter

AS fundraising efforts kick off for the development of a new Clare County dog shelter, warden Frankie Coote has described the Christmas period as one of his busiest yet. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, local organisation Rover Rescue, led by dog trainer and groomer Deirdre Ryan, sent a number of dogs from the county pound to be re-homed in Wales, with more dogs set to leave the country in the coming weeks. Deirdre, who has helped nearly 500 dogs find new homes in the past three years, hopes a recent grant of funding will mean even more dogs can be helped in the future.According to Mr Coote, “Christmas was one of our busiest, we worked every day over the Christmas and the figures are up. What we have noticed is that people are not in a financial position now to keep their dogs and they’re ringing us to come and take them. As bad as that is, it’s …

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BID plan would mean extra rate for businesses

THE creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in Ennis would involve the levying of an additional rate on the business community, something which town manager Ger Dollard believes would be difficult in the current economic climate.A BID is a public/private partnership in which business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development and promotion of their commercial district.At this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council, Councillor Johnny Flynn urged the council to consider a BID for Ennis. “There is an urgent need for Ennis to protect and grow jobs and deal with the scourge of unemployment and emigration. The rise in unemployment figures is having a huge effect on our young people and this could give a sense of hope.”He outlined that a group involved in a BID, if for example they wanted to develop a festival, would pay a sum equivalent to 4% of their rate into a separate fund to be used for the …

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Ennis continues to climb up the litter league table

ENNIS Tidy Towns chairman Noel Crowley has described Ennis’ position on the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) table as “positive”. The county town moved up six places to 16th in the national littler league. “In the Tidy Towns as we are always in the top echelon, and we would like to be at the top of IBAL,” he said.Mr Crowley was speaking following the release of the latest IBAL league table, which put Ennis at joint 16 out of 53 towns and cities surveyed across Ireland. Ennis was classified as Clean to European Norms in the survey, ranked the same as Ballina and Nenagh.An Taisce, who conduct the IBAL litter surveys, outlined in its report on Ennis, “Another satisfactory result but not as good as the Tidy Towns. Neither the Limerick or Galway approach roads are Clean to European Norms. Over half of the sites surveyed in Ennis got the top litter grade, these sites were not just clear of …

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No plans for museum at McParland’s building

THE opening of a museum in the historic McParland’s building on Parnell Street could not go ahead at the moment but will be considered in the future, members of Ennis Town Council have been told.The building, which is currently undergoing major conservation work, does not belong to the town council and its owner, Irene Clune, expects to return to the property when the works have been completed. However, the council have stated that the suggestion to create a museum on the site will be borne in mind for any future use of the property.Councillor Paul O’Shea told this week’s meeting of the council that funding should be sought for the opening of a medieval museum at McParland’s and he emphasised its historical importance. Town manager Ger Dollard told the meeting that the council is aware the building is one of “great significance”.He outlined the conservation works that are currently in progress on the McParland’s property have established that an increased …

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Joshua determined to be a new year baby

  IT was certainly a very happy new year for proud Clarecastle parents Vicky and Chris Howard as they welcomed little Joshua into the world on New Year’s Day.Weighing in at five pounds 10 ounces, the little bundle of joy arrived five weeks early at the Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick at 2.36pm on Sunday.A delighted Vicky said from the hospital, “He was five weeks early. He wasn’t due until February 3 but he was determined to be a new year’s baby. We weren’t prepared, I had no bag packed or anything. I was a bit worried when we drove down to the hospital on Saturday night because he was early but the staff are brilliant and they put me at ease very quickly.”Although he was an early arrival, Joshua is thriving, with mother and son expected to return home from hospital on Friday. “He’s doing great, everything went perfect,” Vicky said. Looking forward to welcoming home the new addition …

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