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Hailing the unsung heroes

Ennis’ unsung heroes will next week be deservedly recognised for their good work in the parish when they are presented with People of the Year awards.The annual awards presentation will take place on Thursday, March 8, in the Old Ground Hotel with five local people receiving a People of the Year award from Bishop Kieran O’Reilly. A special merit award will also be presented.This year’s recipients will be Donal Griffin, Lahinch Road; Katie Drennan, Claureen; Patrick Murphy, Circular Road; Carmel O’Grady, Childers Road and Joe Martin Tulla Road. Receiving the special merit award will be Canon Pat Taaffe.According to Fr Tom Hogan of Ennis Parish, “Many people are working in a voluntary capacity, often unnoticed, giving of their time and energy in the service of others and enriching our community. A number of years ago the Pastoral Council decided to acknowledge their contributions and awards have been presented to worthy participants since.”The evening will begin with a slide show presentation …

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Hairdresser goes for ‘The Gloria’

AFTER shaving the heads of more than 100 people as they raised money for charity over the years, Ennis hairdresser Gloria Greer decided to ‘go for the chop’ herself.The well-known stylist from Twin Blades had 26 inches of her long blond hair shorn from her head while cheered on by plenty of supporters at the Front Bar on Sunday. Her new hairstyle has even become known as ‘The Gloria’ on the streets of Ennis.She wasn’t the only one to lose some hair for Barnardos, with volunteers also having their legs waxed in Gerz Place on the same day.Gloria said her flowing locks were important but that raising money to support the children’s charity, a favourite cause of her late mother, was even more so.“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I never had the guts, until now. People also dye their hair for charity but it would have been a cop out for me because it would be too …

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French win book club of the year award

A book club in Nimes in the South of France has been named Book Club of the Year and will be presented with the award this weekend at Ennis Book Club Festival. The club will be represented by Hélène Granon, who has been a book club member for 15 years.“We are a group of more than 15 people, mostly women,” she said. “We meet on the fourth Friday of each month. Most of the members are English or Irish, one is Swedish, one is Dutch. Just now I am reading Light of Evening by Edna O’Brien. I must say I have wonderful Irish friends and they make me read Irish books.”Hélène also takes part in organising a festival of cinema in Nimes every year. Last year, it was devoted to Irish cinema and received some support from the Irish Government. “Belonging to the book club is something very important for me. People from different countries talking about a book in …

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Clare Youth Service seeks public support

MAYOR of Clare Pat Hayes and TV presenter Bláthnaid O’Donoghue have been enrolled as the first patron and friend of Clare Youth Service in a new sponsorship scheme that gives parents, young people and businesses an opportunity to support youth services in the county.Clare Youth Service currently operates 68 projects in 25 locations throughout the county. These include music projects, youth clubs, certified training, information points, youth cafés, justice work and education programmes.Some of this work is under threat in the current economic climate and the organisation has restructured internally in order to address cutbacks. It is now asking the wider community to help maintain its core frontline services.Individuals and companies can become a patron for a donation of €50 or become a friend for €20. Friends will receive a car sticker, while patrons will receive a certificate for their business premises or home, in addition to the car sticker.CYS chairperson Michael Byrne explained, “There have obviously been serious cutbacks …

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Crying out for visions of the county town’s future

  Following on from a community visioning exercise last year, representatives of Ennis, supported by the University of Limerick, will present an overview of the priorities raised at two informal sessions in the week ahead.The Ideas Market Place feedback sessions will be held on Saturday, from noon at Dunnes Stores and on Wednesday next from 5-8pm at the Temple Gate Hotel. The inputs will be considered to become part of the Hub Town Plan, which will be finalised during the summer.The Ennis 2020 Community Visioning project, undertaken in the first six months of 2011, started with town officials, councillors, representatives from the active citizenship and students and lecturers from the University of Limerick (UL) taking to the streets and attending meetings to facilitate discussion on the future of the town. Their goal was to find out what the town users would like their county town to look like in the year 2020. A report compiled by the university, together with …

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More research needed on Purple Flag process

ENNIS is “not anywhere near” the stage of applying for a Purple Flag, the award recognising excellence in the management of safe town centres at night, according to town clerk Leonard Cleary.Speaking at a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council, Mr Cleary said a lot more research has to be done and lessons to be learned from the UK before Ennis applies for the award. He also suggested a possible visit to the UK to see how the Purple Flag award has worked for towns and cities there.At a meeting of the municipal policy committee last month, it was agreed that the Purple Flag pathfinder process would be pursued and that Promote Ennis would be the applicant, with the gardaí and Ennis Town Council supporting the process.At this month’s meeting, Councillor Johnny Flynn emphasised that towns with a vibrant night-time economy have a much wider appeal. He outlined it has been shown “towns and cities in the UK that have …

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Tourism a path to industry

THE promotion of cultural events and festivals in the town will not only benefit tourism but could also lead to more manufacturing companies setting up in Ennis, according to the new president of Ennis Chamber, Brian O’Neill. Brian, who runs the award-winning Rowan Tree Café and Hostel, recently took over the chain of office from former president John Dillane. “I have a different perspective to John having come from the tourism sector but I am conscious of all aspects of business, including manufacturing. I think that by promoting Ennis and making it a better place to live, with different cultural events on during the year, makes it a more attractive place for manufacturing companies to come to Ennis, as they would think it’s a better place for their staff to live,” he said.Looking forward to his term, Brian explained, “The presidency is for one year, which doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to do a lot but I …

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