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Ennis

Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Rent waiver proposal for filling vacant premises

ENNIS councillors have backed a motion calling on Clare County Council to introduce a rent waiver scheme that would give traders who set up business, in premises that are vacant for more than two years, a 75% rate cut in year one, a 50% rate cut in year two and a 25% rate cut in year three. Councillor Tom McNamara called for a three-year commitment by the council on rates and for the council to put pressure on landlords to “do something to get the town back in action”. He said such schemes had been successful elsewhere and asked his fellow local councillors to push it strongly at council level. Councillor Pat Daly supported the proposal and said it would be better to see some money being collected and would help to sustain new developing retail units. Councillor Mary Howard said she agreed with the spirit of the motion and called on landlords to look at their rents for new …

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Throw away your Christmas tree

The Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park (Fairgreen) this Sunday is expected to attract a big entry. Running from 10am to 4pm, all proceeds raised by the fourth annual event will go towards ISPCC Childline. The championship will see competitors trying to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree. John O’Dea, from Limerick, and Gary O’Growney, from Dublin, share the Irish record, having both thrown their trees a distance of 10.2 metres, which is just under two metres short of the world record currently held by Klaus Pubnaz,who hurled a tree a distance of 12 metres at an event in Germany four years ago. Organised by Clare County Council in conjunction with Active Ennis Sports and Leisure Facilities, the event will also see the public’s used Christmas trees being sent forward for recycling.

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Putting the Market under cover

A €1.75m loan for the proposed redevelopment of the market area in Ennis has been approved by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Arrangements are being made to draw down the loan from a lending institution. The Council says the detailed design stage for the proposed project is currently being finalised. The project will go to tender during the first quarter of 2015. Mayor of Ennis  Johnny Flynn welcomed the news, describing the proposed development as “a 21st century project for a town with its origins in the 12th century”. “I initiated a request for a feasibility study for a covered market in 2011, particularly in light of the successful Limerick milk market project. Four years on, I am delighted to see that Phase One of the project is being progressed and the council is putting Munster’s largest town on the path to once again becoming the go to town for the people of Clare and the …

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NASA helping Clare athletes back to fitness

Space age technology originally developed by NASA is being used at Active Ennis Leisure Complex to help improve recovery times, increase mobility and lessen the chance of future injury for athletes and patients. The Ennis complex [part of swmming pool] is the only facility in the Mid-West to provide public access to an anti-gravity AlterG treadmill, which has previously been used by internationally renowned sports stars such as former Irish rugby international Brian O’Driscoll, Barcelona footballer, Luis Suarez; multiple tennis Grand Slam champion, Rafa Nadal and Irish Olympian, Derval O’Rourke. It’s more widely used across the United States where it is a regular feature of the recovery process for injured professional basketballers and American footballers. Physiotherapists throughout the world have hailed the treadmill for its role in expediting rehabilitation for athletes overcoming lower leg injuries, or for patients with a variety of medical conditions such as strokes, Parkinson’s Disease and total knee and hip joint replacements. “We are delighted to …

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Ennis singer auditions to be the next Voice of Ireland

THE Voice of Ireland may have found an Ennis voice to represent County Clare ahead of the screening of Sarah McTernan’s audition in the New Year. The popular singing competition returns for a fourth season on Sunday January 4 on RTÉ One where the coaching panel made up of Una Foden and Rachel Stevens, Kian Egan and Bressie will determine who gets a spot in the series. Among those who are due to go on stage to perform in blind auditions in front of them is Sarah McTernan from Ennis. The 20 year old is currently studying vocals and dance at the University of Limerick and she will sing Who You Are by Jessie J for her audition. Speaking about her passion for music and reasons for going on the show, the Ennis woman says her Mum has always pushed her to sing and play instruments. However, she says she has only recently started gigging and writes some of her …

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Ennis Fleadh bid gets a boost

CLARE could be tuning up for a €30 million Fleadh Cheoil windfall in 2016, after a bid to secure the return festival to the Banner County got a major boost. Efforts to host the lucrative 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competition in Ennis got a significant shot in the arm after a submission from the local branch defeated Cork City by 11 votes to nine. For the first time ever, counties have to submit their plans for hosting the event and Clare’s bid, which was in the name of the Abbey branch in Ennis, triumphed, with two votes to spare. It is expected a final decision on the current shortlist will be made next March. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was last held in Ennis in 1977. People always remember the 1956 Fleadh too, made famous by the Robbie McMahon song, The Fleadh Down in Ennis. Ennis is now in a three-horse race involving Sligo, who are hosting the All-Ireland showpiece …

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IWS recognises Liam’s dedication

FORMER Clare Civil Defence officer and water safety development officer (WSDO), Liam Griffin, has been named Irish Water Safety’s 60th Life Governor in recognition of his dedication towards the humanitarian goal of saving lives from drowning. Clare County Council’s WSDO from 1996 until his recent retirement, Liam followed in the footsteps of the late Noel Carmody, who died before his time and was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best WSDO’s ever. Liam maintained and then improved standards in the performance of his duties as WSDO and as a member of Irish Water Safety (IWS). Clare is one of the most challenging counties in which to hold this brief, being surrounded by water on three sides. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean, with the west coast famous for its many swimming and surfing beaches, from Bishop’s Quarter in North Clare, to Fanore, Lahinch, Milltown Malbay, Spanish Point and Kilkee in the south. Inland, Clare is bounded by …

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Nursing home addressing issues of non-compliance

A Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report, from an announced inspection of a nursing home in Ennis, found 10 out of the 18 ‘outcomes’  were non-compliant, two of which were categorised as ‘major’ non-compliance. The HIQA inspection took place at Ennis Nursing Home, Showgrounds Road, on September 30 and October 1 of this year but the report was only published last week. Despite the issues of non-compliance, the report states that residents of the nursing home told the inspector they were happy living in the centre and they felt safe there. Staff also demonstrated good knowledge of the residents’ care needs when speaking with the inspector. However, “significant improvements were required in the documentation of nursing assessments and care plans and medication management”. The report found major non-compliance in the area of safeguarding and safety. The inspector found that training in adult protection had not been delivered to all staff or was overdue for some others. Improvements were required …

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