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Graveyard histories revealed in new booklets

HIDDEN secrets of Drumcliff and Templemaley graveyards have been revealed as part of a joint initiative between the Clare Roots Society and the Clare Archaeological and Historical Society.Last week, both societies launched their booklets exploring the backgrounds of the local burial grounds. On the evening of the launch, Larry Brennan, Eric Shaw and Fiona de Buitléir of the Roots Society gave a guided tour of Drumcliff Graveyard. This was followed by a visit to Templemaley Graveyard, where Mary Kearns and Edel Greene discussed the church and older burials there.The Roots Society introduced its booklet, Drumcliff Cemetery: The Hidden History of Ennis and the Archaeological Society launched its booklet, Templemaley Graveyard. The booklets give a background to the burial in Drumcliff and Templemaley and the transcriptions of gravestones within the graveyards.The Drumcliff book, compiled and edited by Larry Brennan and Eric Shaw, is a joint initiative between the Roots Society and Ennis Tidy Towns. It contains articles on the history of …

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50 years in Brogan’s… Pat wouldn’t have it any other way

WORKING in Brogan’s Bar for 50 years, Pat Sheedy is well used to lending an ear to the many customers who frequent the well-known Ennis pub. But when it comes to talking about himself, the bartender shies away from being the centre of attention.While Pat may prefer to stay out of the limelight, this month he will rightly be the focus of celebrations at Brogan’s Bar, with an evening of music planned to mark his golden anniversary.Pat, from Doora, first began working in Brogan’s when he left school at 14. “I certainly didn’t think I’d be here this long. I started off in the yard doing the bottles and peeling the spuds. My sister, Francis, had worked there along with my brother, John,” he recalled. “Brian Hogan was the owner at the time, son of Patrick Hogan who was Ceann Comhairle.“Things were very different back then, there have certainly been some big changes over the years. The pub itself hasn’t …

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Fahy Hall to be completed in 26 weeks

THE redevelopment of Fahy Hall in Roslevan is set to be complete within 26 weeks. On Monday, contracts were signed with Galvin Construction for the redevelopment of Fahy Hall and the addition of a new oratory.According to Jackie Morris, of the Roslevan Pastoral Council, “This project will provide modern community and pastoral facilities for our community.”The redeveloped hall will increase the floor area and provide meeting rooms, a kitchen, store, toilets and other facilities. The oratory will be  a permanent place of worship, accommodating 95 people and can be combined with the adjoining hall to increase capacity to up to 300 people for mass and other church services.According to Jackie, this development is vital for the growing Doora Barefield parish and the Roslevan area, which has seen an increase in its housing population.“Doora Barefield Parish is one of the largest rural parishes in the Diocese of Killaloe. It stretches 16 miles from Barefield in the north to Doora in the …

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Mixed views on smoky coal ban

THE plan to ban smoky coal in Ennis must be introduced on a phased basis if it is to work, according to local coal merchant and Ennis Town Councillor, Frankie Neylon, who has also called on the Government to make domestic fuel exempt from carbon tax.Meanwhile, Green Party Councillor Brian Meaney has welcomed the smoky coal ban, describing it as “necessary” and is adamant it will benefit the town and the health of locals.Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan last week announced that from August 1, Ennis will be added to the list of towns and cities covered by the Smoky Coal Ban, under which it is illegal to market, sell or distribute bituminous or ‘smoky’ coal.However, according to Councillor Neylon, the ban will not solve problems with air pollution in the town and could lead to hardship for vulnerable people.“This will have to be phased in. Six or seven years ago we were promised it would be phased in …

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Calls for more Ennis signage on motorway

A SIGN for Ennis at the Scariff/Tulla exit of the Ennis bypass is of “paramount importance” to the town, according to members of the Ennis Development Forum and Ennis Chamber.The groups met with Clare’s four TDS for the second time in Ennis this week as they continue with plans to make Clare the first county out of recession.Among the issues discussed at the meeting is the need for more signage into Ennis off the motorway. At the meeting, it was agreed that all six Clare members of the Oireachtas will arrange a meeting with the National Roads Authority to discuss the concerns of the Development Forum and the Chamber.Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Johnny Flynn was among those calling for the signage as he outlined that during the first three months of the bypass opening, there was a 30% drop in the town’s tourist office footfall. It was noted that Athlone, which is of similar size to Ennis, has seven …

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What’s the story with young people?

Claire Muireann Murphy is a performance storyteller from Galway who has brought her art to audiences all over the world, including last month’s Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado.This week, however, she has brought the stories of young people at Clare Youth Service to life and collaborated with them for a special performance at Cois na h-Abhna. Having secured a grant from Poetry Ireland’s Writers Scheme to extend their services to teenagers and early school leavers, Clare County Library embarked on a storytelling project involving young people at the Clare Youth Service.Over a series of eight workshops, Ms Murphy imparted the techniques of storytelling and provided examples from her own extensive repertoire. The participants also worked with Jackie Dermody O’Brien, library staff officer, who filmed the workshop sessions; Patricia Fitzgerald, who co-ordinated the project on behalf of Clare County Library and CYS literacy tutor, Fionnuala Tuohy.The film clips are posted to Clare County Library’s website with links to YouTube …

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Funds needed to restore Ballyalla Lake to swimming standard

Substantial funding needs to be secured to help restore Ballyalla Lake as a bathing amenity for Ennis and its surrounding areas, according to local town councillors.Concern about the rapid deterioration in the water quality of Ballalla Lake, which was once “a jewel in the crown” was expressed by councillors at an Ennis Town Council meeting on Wednesday.Leading the calls, Councillor Brian Meaney requested an explanation from Clare County Council why bathing waters in Ballyalla didn’t meet standards.Councillor Meaney called for a more proactive approach to improve water quality to facilitate the lake’s restoration as a bathing amenity for people in the town.He noted that the percentage of total coliforms and faecal coliforms higher than accepted guidelines had increased from 29% to 100% and from 7% to 37% respectively from 2005 to 2010.He was supported by Councillor Johnny Flynn, who recalled the lake was once a major asset for the town and proposed that money should be set aside for the …

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€1.7m of commercial rates still uncollected by town council

Ennis Town Council had  €1.7 million in uncollected commercial rates on December 31, 2009, according to the latest annual statement produced by the local authority.While town manager Ger Dollard expects that most of these outstanding rates bills will be collected, he admitted the amount of overdue rates was a matter of concern for the authority.Mr Dollard told councillors at a local authority meeting on Wednesday the council couldn’t provide services for people in the town unless it collected this money.The town authority’s accounts also showed there was €5.896m in total due for collection in 2010 after €1.065m was carried forward at the start of the year before deductions. The total amount collected at December 31, 2010 was €4.142m, the amount of irrecoverable rates was €528,930 while the total amount as a percentage of total for collection was 70%.While the council was offering traders deferred payments and other payment methods to make it easier to pay rates, Councillor Peter Considine warned …

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