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Earlier Ennis Christmas Lights switch on

The switching on of the Ennis Christmas lights at the Christmas tree in the Market this evening (Friday) has been brought forward  to 4.15pm. Clare County Council says the move is out of respect for a funeral taking place at Kennedy’s Funeral Home from 5.00pm. The Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Johnny Flynn, will perform the official switch-on, while entertainment will be provided by the Holy Family School Choir and local theatrical group, Pantaloons. In conjunction with the switch-on of the Christmas lights, Ennis Lions Club will launch their Yellow Ribbon project in aid of Cahercalla Hospice. Meanwhile, a parking incentive scheme aimed at promoting Christmas and New Year shopping in Ennis comes into force tomorrow. Free parking will be applicable to the town’s 759 off-street and 783 on-street public car parking spaces up to 12pm daily from Saturday, November 29 to January 4 inclusive. There will also be free all-day parking at Cloughleigh car park.

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Daring advancements at Magico

Ennis-based Magico, a leading Irish eCommerce technology company, is to hire 12 staff in software development, sales and support. The company is pursuing further growth, as part of a €500,000 research and development project around a technologically advanced big data analytics system it has developed. The Magico DARE initiative is supported with R&D funding from Enterprise Ireland. As well as strong success to date in Ireland, Magico is now actively targeting the UK market. Established in 2000, the company already has major Irish retailers and brands among its clients. It currently employs 12 staff in software development and analytics. Using cloud computing technologies, Magico has developed a powerful new analytics software tool called Magico DARE which helps businesses to maximise the commercial potential of their online presence. With Magico DARE, businesses trading online can continually adapt their e-commerce approach by managing, measuring and reacting to all website activities. Magico’s technology is compatible with all e-commerce systems and integrates with other …

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New Garda Commissioner has Clare relatives

THE appointment of the new Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has been greeted warmly by her relations in Clare and by the local chief superintendent who said she will “drive change” in the force. Garda Commissioner O’Sullivan’s late mother, Betty (nee Coote), was a native of the New Road area of Ennis. Among her many relatives is former mayor of Ennis Mary Coote Ryan, a first cousin of Noirín’s late mother. Commissioner O’Sullivan’s grandfather, Johnny ‘Joker’ Coote was a well-known hurler and was a member of the Clare junior team that won the All-Ireland Hurling Championship final in 1914. Speaking about the commissioner’s appointment, Mrs Coote Ryan said, “My deceased brother, Paddy, would have been very friendly with her and would have been at her wedding and spent a lot of time going up and down visiting her and I know he thought the world of her. All the family are very proud of her and she deserves it. She worked …

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Taoiseach launches Small Business Saturday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, on  Wednesday evening, was on hand to help launch Retail Excellence Ireland’s (REI) Small Business Saturday in Ireland. Retail Ireland’s CEO, Ennis-based David Fitzsimons, said “This is a campaign which profiles small business and encourages consumers to shop locally and support jobs and enterprises in their respective communities. It is a social media and marketing campaign that provides local businesses with the collateral that they need to inform consumers on the power of their local spend.” Small Business Saturday started as a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities. The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year. In 2014, that is Saturday December 6. In September 2014, REI launched a Rural Town Revival document to provide guidance and motivation to stakeholders in all of Ireland’s towns and villages to work together collaboratively to design and implement a plan …

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Journey of Hope begins

Over 4,500 Team Hope Christmas shoeboxes, filled with gifts for needy children in Ukraine, will be leaving Ennis this evening (Tuesday). Over the past three weeks schools, businesses, factories and individuals throughout the county have put together the shoeboxes which were packaged at Elevation Business Park, Clonroad, Ennis. “We have packed all these boxes into cartons to be loaded onto a lorry this evening. There will be 489 cartons to put onto the lorry, which are filled with 4,561 shoeboxes to get to needy children in Ukraine before Christmas,” said Margaret Angland, Clare coordinator for Team Hope.

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Breen sees red at traffic calming island

TRAFFIC calming measures at Loughville have been anything but calming for Councillor James Breen, since they were introduced three years ago. The blue traffic island and black roadside bollards are designed to slow traffic down on the busy Ennis to Ennistymon road, but Councillor Breen has been concerned about how difficult it is for motorists to see the signs or bollards. He has brought it to the attention of the council on a number of occasions. “They are small circular blue signs with white arrows and they are deadly at night because if cars are coming against you at the dip of the hill, you can’t see them,” he said. “The bollards are black and are equally hard to see at night. Every time I raised it at the council, I was told it was the NRA who was responsible,” he said. “I can’t understand why the NRA hasn’t done something about it over the past three years.” Last week, …

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Ennis bridge winter closure

Drehidnagower Bridge, near Drumcliffe, on the outskirts of Ennis, is likely to be closed to the public for the winter months due to rising river levels and the requirement to undertake structural remediation works. In making the announcement, Clare County Council said the temporary closure of the bridge to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians on the Local Road L4587, located north west of the town, is being enforced due to safety reasons while river levels remain elevated. The bridge, which crosses the River Fergus, dates back to the early 19th century and has been the subject of a 30km/hr for a number of months. A council spokesperson said, “The council recently conducted a routine survey of the bridge which determined the requirement for strengthening works to be carried out on the structure’s undercarriage. With water levels rising on the River Fergus, the council has deemed it appropriate for public safety reasons to enforce a temporary closure, which is likely to continue …

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Alec steps into the Chamber

FORMER Clare county manager, Alec Fleming has taken over as interim CEO with Ennis Chamber of Commerce, while Rita McInerney takes a year’s career break. Paddy Darmody, president of Ennis Chamber, welcomed the new interim CEO and said he is looking forward to working with Alec, in what promises to be a very busy year for the Chamber. “Ennis is recovering from a very deep recession and I am confident that Alec’s experience and expertise will be of great benefit to the Chamber and the town in the challenging year ahead” said Paddy. “I’m delighted to step in as interim CEO, while Rita is away,” Mr Fleming said. A public servant for 30 years, he retired from the top Clare public service job in 2009 and has been working in private industry as a consultant. A Tipperary native, Alec received his second-level education in St Flannan’s, before beginning his public service career, and has been living in Ennis since 2002, …

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