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Council owed €2.8m in traders’ rates

ENNIS Town Council is owed over €2.8 million in commercial rates this year, according to figures provided at this month’s meeting of the local authority.In response to a notice of motion submitted by Councillor Mary Howard requesting Ennis Town Council to report, in tabular form, the amount of monies collected from commercial rates for 2007, 2008, 2009 and up to the end of October 2010, town clerk Eddie Power confirmed €2,852,601 was owed in commercial rates on October 31.The figure at the end of 2009 was €1,065,199, €468,362 at the end of 2008 and €294,952 at the end of 2007.On the receipts side, the town council received rate payments of €3,572,752 so far this year, down over €400,00 on last year and down almost €600,000 when compared to 2007.Ennis town manager Ger Dollard said while the council acknowledges the circumstances that are out there, “people need to understand that the council cannot continue services without that income”.“We are quite happy …

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Full steam ahead for Flannan’s F1 projects

TWO teams from St Flannan’s College, Ennis have qualified for the regional finals of the F1 in Schools Formula 1 Technology Challenge.This is the second year in-a-row that the St Flannan’s Science Club has participated in the competition. Last year, the school’s junior team, Fire Dragons made it to the Irish finals, which were held in Dublin in April.The regional finals, at which both of the St Flannan’s teams will compete, will be held in Limerick in March.The junior team, called Flannan’s Falcons, consists of three first-year pupils, Mike O’Dea, Oakleigh Weekes and Victor O’Loughlin, one second year, Jack O’Dea, and two third years, Hannah O’Connell and Chloe Hayes. This is the second year Jack O’Dea has been in the competition, making it to the finals in March.The senior team is called Slipstream and is made up of all fourth-year pupils. The team members are Cian O’Shea, Lorcan O’Donoghue, Christopher Ogbonna, Mataka Flynn and Mubarak Busari. Christopher was also a …

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Accepting joint strategy like ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’

ACCEPTING a new joint housing strategy for Clare and Limerick would be like “turkeys voting for Christmas”, a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council was told.Councillor Johnny Flynn was speaking as members voiced their disapproval of plans to include the strategy in the Ennis and Environs Development Plan. Concerns were also raised about the inclusion of the Mid-West Retail Strategy in the plan for 2008-2014.Senior planner Gordon Daly told the meeting the housing strategy outlines future needs for housing in Ennis and the rest of the region. According to the strategy’s projected figures for 2017, a total of 964 additional housing units will be needed in Ennis.Councillor Mary Coote Ryan asked if there was any reason why the strategy had to include Limerick, with Mr Daly outlining it is a departmental requirement and there is a need to examine the wider region.Councillor Tommy Brennan commented, “This is just another quango; they are taking local politics away from local people. It …

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Free parking suggestion quashed

ENNIS Town Council has put the brakes on a call for free car parking to be provided in the town in the run up to Christmas.The council has rejected a suggestion by Councillor Johnny Flynn, who urged that shoppers visiting Ennis should be able to avail of free car parking on streets and in council car parks on all Friday and Saturday afternoons between 2pm and 6pm until December 30.At a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council, Councillor Flynn stated, “Limerick city is offering free parking this month, Kilrush are doing the same thing and there are reduced parking rates in Galway. The last six weeks of trading have been very tough, we have had adverse weather and the budget.”He argued that free parking would increase the number of people coming to Ennis to shop. “People will be spending local. We have to try and sustain jobs in the town. According to a study by the Economics Foundation in London, …

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