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Ennis

Holy Family School 50 years on

It is 50 years to the day (Wednesday, January 7) that the Sisters of Mercy walked all their pupils from the old school at Temple Gate in Ennis to their new convent school, the Holy Family School on Station Road. To mark this occasion, all children and staff of Holy Family junior and senior schools retraced the steps of this walk this morning (Wednesday). They gathered at the Temple Gate Plaza to make the proud march up O’Connell Street. Heavy rain did not deter the pupils, teachers and parents from publicly marking this important milestone, which  greatly improved the standard of educational facilities in Ennis. The Holy Family School is also an iconic building in Ennis town.

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Planning decision to impact on Ennis pub’s future?

THE future viability of an Ennis pub/restaurant that employs 40 staff is uncertain, following a decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse the retention and alteration of an outdoor smoking room with a retractable roof. Derek Gleeson, the owner of Yolo – You Only Live Once – at 40 Abbey Street, Ennis, in response to an enforcement order in March to remove the structure, had applied to Clare County Council to retain and alter the outdoor smoking room at the pub/restaurant with a traditional shop front at the smoking area, in keeping with the other traditional shop front on the premises. The council refused the development in July and this decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. The corner building is a protected structure, dating from the 18th century, and is part of a terrace of listed buildings on Abbey Street, in what is an Architectural Conservation Area. According to the submission made on behalf of Mr Gleeson, “This bar/restaurant …

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A Christmas tale of level spending

WHILE pre-Christmas and festive trading was certainly no worse than in previous years, there hasn’t been much evidence of increased spending in the Banner County, according to retailers. This week, Pat Kelly, manager of SkyCourt shopping centre in Shannon, said trading was quite similar to 12 months previously. “It was on a par with previous years, not better, but on a par with previous years. There was a lot of talk about the uplift but I thought we’d see more of it.” He said that Dealz, which sells goods at discount prices, had a very good Christmas but that most of the businesses at SkyCourt “generally found it was similar to last year, not the uplift we had probably expected”. Patrick Bourke, who has men’s clothes shops in Ennis and Kilrush, said there had been an improvement, albeit not a dramatic one. “We were busy, I have to say. We’d be up on last year, not hugely up. There were …

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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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