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Ennis

Ready to serve up jobs

THE outskirts of Ennis could soon have its own Obama Plaza-style rest stop and “drive thru”, providing in the region of 100 new permanent jobs. Managing director of Supermac’s Ireland, Pat McDonagh, who already has business interests in Ennis and Shannon, has applied to Clare County Council for a major motorway service area and a rest area at Kilbreckan, Doora, at Junction 12, on the Galway to Limerick M18. Supermac’s planning application includes a service station and convenience shop, a food court and drive thru, offices, staff facilities, a canopy, fuel facilities, parking and circulation space, children’s play area, picnic area and access provision and infrastructural works, including lighting, signage, landscaping, on-site waste water treatment and access to the nearby roundabout on the N85. The Supermac’s boss said the company is delighted that the economic boost generated by the provision of 100 new permanent jobs, as well as additional seasonal jobs is coming to County Clare. An additional 75 jobs …

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Medieval Ennis has visitor potential

SHANNON Heritage is to be asked to look at the potential of developing a medieval visitor attraction in the lanes of Ennis. Ennis Mayor, Councillor Johnny Flynn, proposed the move at the December meeting of the municipal district committee, saying, “In light of the success of the Shannon Heritage section of Shannon Airport Group in the development and management of heritage properties,” that they should be asked to look at the potential of setting up a medieval streetscape attraction. He said he would like to see an urban heritage visitor attraction using the medieval streetscape, as seen around Chapel Lane and the community centre. Councillor Ann Norton backed the suggestion and said having received a presentation from Shannon Heritage, she thought, “They seem to be very open to ideas and suggestions and probably would be interested in looking at it. I think there is a lot of opportunities there and the Shannon Group are open to ideas”. “Ennis is a …

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Frozen to warm the hearts of Ennis shoppers

ENNIS retailers and shop owners are certain to receive a warm reception, when they enter this year’s Clare Champion Christmas Window Display competition. This year’s competition theme is Frozen in Ennis and is inspired by the 2013 Walt Disney film, which has become the highest-grossing animation movie of all time. Despite the chilly theme, the best-dressed window displays and shopfronts in the county town are certain to get a warm response from shoppers and visitors. This is the 11th year of the competition and entrants are invited to once again give free rein to their creative sides. Managing director, John Galvin said, “The Clare Champion organises this competition to bring out the creative side of our shop owners and service providers. Ennis has a great reputation for its shopfronts and its fine display windows, behind which there are a wonderful variety of retail businesses. “By coupling a Christmas theme with what is already a high standard of window displays, we …

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Lights, camera, action for Tommy’s TV fundraiser

TOMMY Meskill, a third-year communication studies student in Dublin City University, is raising vital funds this week for the Histiocytosis Research Trust through the production of 24 hours of live television content. Tommy, from Ennis, is an active member of DCU’s Media Production Society (MPS), who are running the DCUtv 24 Hour Broadcast that goes live at 9pm this Friday. He explained why he is looking forward to the broadcast this year. “It’s really exciting to be part of a project that no other Irish college has done before, especially when it’s for such a worthy cause.” Histiocytosis is a general name for a group of syndromes that involve an abnormal increase in the number of immune cells called histiocytes. The Hystiocytosis Research Trust is a charity dedicated to promoting and funding scientific research into uncovering the causes of the disease in the hope of one day finding a cure. The charity was chosen on the suggestion of Niamh Ní …

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Retailers concern on upwards only rent reviews

Retail Excellence Ireland  (REI) has called on the Government to deliver on the call from the National Competitiveness Council to publish the Attorney General’s determination on why Upwards Only Rent Reviews (UORRs) should not be abolished. Ennis-based, David Fitzsimons, CEO of REI, said, “This Government reneged on previous commitments to abolish UORRs. They based this decision on a determination from the Attorney General. We note the NCC’s call for this determination to be published. This would help inform the debate and enable all sides to understand why the Government reneged on its commitments.” Mr Fitzsimons said many retailers employing too many staff , are being crucified by the legacy of UORR on leases some of which last for 20-25 years and are tied to personal guarantees. “Following a review of the determination, there could be scope for better informed decisions on how this toxic legacy of the Celtic Tiger can finally be put to bed,” he said.

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Getting Ennis business on track

Ennis needs to capitalise on its rail connectivity, local councillor Mary Howard said this week. Councillor Howard has highlighted the potential of increasing footfall in Ennis by providing incentives for the population in the hinterland of the Limerick Galway rail line to travel to Ennis and shop on the run up to Christmas. Ms Howard has requested a strategy that would seek to entice the estimated 300,000 people that live within a five mile commute to rail stations along the Limerick to Galway rail line. She recommends the provision of an easily accessible bus freely available to those willing to travel from the rail station to a number of stops in Ennis town centre. “Ennis has a lot to offer if it is properly marketed. “Ennis is situated practically half way between a population of 57,000 in Limerick and 75,000 in Galway and it offers a completely different shopping experience to the large retail outlets in both those cities,” she …

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Howard welcomes progress on sexual offences bill

The publication of the Heads of the Sexual Offences Bill, which criminalises the purchase of sex, has receive the seal of approval of Councillor Mary Howard, a long time campaigner on the issue. Councilllor Howard said, “I warmly welcome the publication of a Bill, which will target the source of the demand for the sex trade.” The Cabinet has given the go ahead to Minister For Justice, Frances Fitzgerald to prepare the necessary legislation. Ms Howard is a stong supporter of TORL (Turn Off The Red Light). TORL is made up of Irish Civil Society Organisations, trade unions, NGOs and individuals working together to raise awareness about the damage of prostitution and sex trafficking, and lobby the Government to legislate to put an end to the exploitation of women and children in the Irish sex industry.

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FF leader says Kenny ‘out of touch’

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has branded the Taoiseach’s comments about the choice facing voters in the next general election as “arrogant, out of touch and an indication of how out of touch with public sentiment” Mr Kenny has become. Addressing the annual Éamon DeValera commemoration in Ennis, on Sunday, Deputy Martin said “It is increasingly clear that the Taoiseach has lost touch with the Irish public. The public has lost faith in his Government – it is not within his gift to try and define the outcome of the next general election. The fact that he would try is indicative of the arrogance that has defined the last 12 months of Government activity and is an insult to voters. It is up to the people to decide who will be in the next government and it is up to each party to spell out their vision for the future of the country and put forward credible policies. “Fianna Fáil, …

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