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Ennis

And they call it puppy love

AN ENNIS woman with an incurable case of ‘puppy love’ is at the centre of an incredible tale of devotion and care for sick and abandoned dogs. Martina Flaherty, from Westbourne, loves all breeds of puppies and dogs and has saved more than 130 lives since she set up Babydog Rescue with her friend, Mags Mooney from Lisdoonvarna, earlier this year. Dog warden, Frankie Coote can’t praise Martina enough. “Martina’s work is essential because she has about 130 dogs taken from the pound since she started Babydog Rescue earlier this year. It’s a huge amount of dogs. She has a wonderful way of dealing with people and other rescue groups. “Martina and Mags Mooney fundraise and I think they have over 60 pups inoculated with the seven-in-one injections that have gone out to homes in Clare as well,” Frankie said. “There’s a lot of work goes into it and a lot of expenses before the dog goes out. They’ve fundraised …

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Gaining confidence, inch by inch

FOR the last few months, Mark Kearney has been drawing puzzled glances from people he meets on the streets, even from people he has known for years. He is close to unrecognisable from the man he was on St Patrick’s Day, after shedding almost 11 stone in the space of seven months. The weight loss came after a religiously-observed diet and the re-introduction of exercise into his life. When he started the weight loss programme in April, Mark, who lives in Ennis, was 25 stone and nine pounds but when he finished in early October, he was down to 14 stone and 11 pounds, a fairly appropriate weight for his 6’5 frame. It’s hardly surprising that he wasn’t satisfied with life at 25 stone and he says the weight was draining the positives from him in all sorts of ways. “Being that weight was affecting my whole life. Going in for interviews for jobs [he was then unemployed], it was …

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Ballyea man lands Ógra top job

Ballyea man Eoin Neylon has been elected Uachtarán of Ógra Fianna Fáil, the party’s youth wing. The 28-year-old, Ennis-based structural engineer and member of Fianna Fáil’s national executive defeated Naoise Ó Cearúil for the top job at Ógra’s national conference in Clane, County Kildare. “I was up against Kildare councillor, Naoise Ó Cearúil, a very good friend of mine. The competition was stiff but, at the end of the day, the delegates felt we had different visions for the term ahead. Naoise is a very dedicated, very committed and very capable local councillor in Maynooth, but the fact that I have been involved for 10 years in the organisation, I suppose people went with the man who had more experience,” he said. The newly-elected Uachtarán has been very involved in policy and organisational issues as a member of Fianna Fáil’s national executive and is looking forward to his term at the helm. Eoin was the driving force behind developing Fianna …

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Hank Krabbe Scholarship for Ennis student

Ennis engineering student, Graham Britchfield from Rockmount has been awarded a Hank Krabbe Scholarship at University of Limerick. A fourth year electronic and computer engineering student, Graham will receive a scholarship grant and is also eligible for co-operative education or summer placements at Analog Devices, sponsors of the scholarship. In total, six of UL’s top performing engineering students were awarded Hank Krabbe Scholarships. The top graduating engineering student is also eligible for the Hank Krabbe Medal and an accompanying grant of €5,000. Speaking at the scholarship awards ceremony, Denis Doyle, Vice President and General Manager Limerick Manufacturing, Analog Devices said; “There is a very strong, long-term and successful relationship between Analog Devices and the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department in UL, with many graduates of this course contributing to the success of Analog Devices. “Electronic engineering will continue to be at the heart of our future and with that in mind we have designed the awards to promote the brightest, …

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House prices up, supply down

House prices in Ennis have begun to rise again after losing more than half their value over the past seven years and may be up by 20% this year. But the number of properties for sale are falling, as the supply of houses coming to the market contracts. “We’ve seen a significant change since the beginning of August. There was a change from March or April on but from August on – particularly in Ennis – quite a lot of housing supply was snapped up and the available stock has contracted significantly. Houses are selling but the supply is just not being replaced,” said Diarmuid McMahon of Sherry FitzGerald McMahon. “There are more people buying than selling and there’s no new supply. There has been nothing built in five or six years, and that’s starting to bite,” he said. Much of the impetus for rising prices comes from the rise in confidence in the economy this year; and also from …

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Clúid officially opens its doors

A 22-apartment complex in Pound Lane, Ennis, was officially opened this Thursday by Housing Minister, Paudie Coffey. The one and two-bedroomed apartments are owned and managed by Clúid Housing, one of the State’s largest housing associations. The apartments were originally built as a private development and, following consultation with Clare County Council, Clúid purchased the units for €970,000 in April this year, under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) scheme and invested a further €130,000 in refurbishing the complex. The first tenants, including returned emigrant Jim Houlihan, took up residence in September 2014. A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver, Jim Houlihan arrived back from London to his native Kilrush seven years ago, just as the Celtic Tiger era came to an abrupt end. “I was living and working in London for 30 years as a HGV driver and then as a bus driver for a year and I decided to come back to live and work in Ennis. But the …

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Councillor James Breen

Teens feel the fear on streets of Ennis

TWO thirds of teenagers and young adults surveyed by Clare Youth Service have felt unsafe in the Ennis Town area during the past 12 months, while 60% of those who said they had experienced crime said they were assaulted, a study by UL has revealed. More than half (54%) of senior-cycle secondary school students surveyed have also admitted to feeling unsafe, and a little less than half (46%) of the general population, who responded to the survey questionnaire, said they also felt unsafe. The study, Feeling Safe in Ennis, an exploration of perceptions of safety in Ennis, was presented to Tuesday’s Ennis Municipal District councillors by Dr Chris McInerney from the Department of Politics and Public Administration in UL. The study was commissioned following feedback gained during the Ennis 2020 consultations that had indicated some level of concern about safety issues in the town. Dr McInerney told the councillors that Ennis ranks on the lower end of the scale in …

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Night road safety campaign

Ennis will host the very first Light Up The Night safety campaign event on this Thursday evening. The main focus of this campaign is to educate all vulnerable road users on how to be visible to traffic. The campaign is to ensure that all road users not only wear high visibility clothing but clothing that is reflective also. The campaign will begin at 6pm with a Light Up Your Bike safety workshop on the ground floor of Unit 1 , Westgate Business Park , Kilrush Road (across from World of Wonder). The RSA will be providing free high visibilty and reflective gear, as well as a free set of lights to all vulnerable road users. The workshop will be followed by a cycle of Ennis by-pass or the N85 Western Relief Road. “We are asking the runners and walkers of the Ennis area to put on your high visibility reflective gear and come out  and support this idea and help …

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