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Businesses beware after Ennis Shop targeted by scam artist

Clare Gardaí are advising business owners in the county to beware following reports of a deception scam in Ennis. Gardaí in Ennis have been alerted to at least one instance of a scam where a male has posed as a delivery man and has been paid in cash for a low value product. The incident reported involved a well dressed male calling to a shop in Ennis with bulk boxes of matches. He informed the shop assistant that their boss ordered the items and that he was to be paid cash on delivery. He  then gave over an order docket with a description of the product but it contained no contact details. He then asked to be paid an amount which was more than the product was worth. He left after receiving the cash and the sales assistant later discovered the manager never ordered the product. Clare’s crime prevention officer, Sergeant Joe Downey has asked businesses to be vigilant for …

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Crusaders’ experience knocks HSE plan

A new HSE plan to restructure children’s disability services has been challenged by the head of a local therapy centre, as the number of children with special needs receiving treatment almost doubled to 400 in the last 12 months. The HSE is planning to roll-out early intervention teams to all parts of the country for children with special needs, on the basis that it has proven successful in areas like the Mid-West. It insists its new strategy is based on recommendations in the Report of the National Reference Group on Multidisciplinary Services for Children Aged Five to 18 Years. The Clare Champion submitted a number of queries to the national HSE, which hadn’t been responded to at the time of going to press. Clare Crusaders’ Clinic managing director, Ann Norton, has claimed this strategy flies in the face of growing waiting lists and the fact that the number of Clare children with special needs attending the centre has jumped from …

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Call for European standard camp site for Ballyalla Lake

The development of a European standard campervan site off the motorway at Ballyalla Lake is among the ideas put forward in a recreational and sports submission to the Ennis and environs draft local area plan. In a 12-point submission, Councillor Johnny Flynn has given a lot of attention to injecting investment into the lake area, just a few miles from Ennis town centre. He wants consideration to be given to the provision of outdoor camping, motorhome and cabin/club sleeping accommodation in that area. Proposing a physical connection from Lees Road to Ballyalla Lake, the Fine Gael councilllor wants the “designation of lands at Lee’s Road, Drumcliffe and Ballyalla for an integrated connected sports and physical recreational hub for land and water-based sports and environmental activities.” This would include the development of a junior sailing training centre. Councillor Flynn has further called for the restoration of lake amenities that have fallen into disrepair.  

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Daniel Drzewiecki and Julija Kolpakova at home with their baby daughter, Laura Olivia, and dog, Charlie.

Clare’s newest internet sensation is barking mad for attention

A YouTube clip recorded in Ennis of a dog bringing toys to a baby had clocked up almost nine million views on Wednesday evening. The clip is one minute and 46 seconds long and, at the beginning, the dog brings a toy away from the baby, who is seated on a chair. When she begins to cry, the dog brings toy after toy over to comfort her, almost covering the child, such is his determination to rectify the situation. The baby’s name is Laura Olivia and she is the daughter of Daniel Drzewiecki and Julija Kolpakova, who are both from Eastern Europe and have lived in Ireland for eight years. Speaking on Wednesday, Julija said, “My boyfriend made it a few months ago, when our child was two months, and he uploaded it. It got very popular a few days ago!” She said Daniel had wanted to make a different type of clip. “He wanted to film how Laura would …

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Ennis estate goes green

Residents of An Sean Dún Estate in Ennis turned out in force earlier this week to officially launch a sustainability pack for all households in the estate. The eco-friendly initiative has been developed by residents in an effort to encourage householders to make small changes that deliver cost savings as well as help the environment. The sustainability pack consists of an energy monitor to encourage people to minimise energy use, a reusable shopping bag to cut down on plastic bag usage, pasta/rice measures and fruit/vegetable savers to help reduce food waste, a roll of radiator reflector foil to prevent energy wastage and water displacement devices to reduce water usage. Councillor Mary Howard, deputising as Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, commended the residents for their efforts. “I am delighted to formally launch the sustainability pack for this proactive community group.  They are certainly community leaders and are showing us all how we can reduce our environmental footprint.  It is important that we …

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“Structural integrity” worries close Ennis bridge

Clare County Council has confirmed that the L8226-13 local road in Kilcurrish Townland, near Ennis, will remain closed until further notice due to concerns regarding the structural integrity of Kilcurrish Bridge. The affected road links the main Corofin to Ennis Road (R469) to Ballygriffey. Alternative routes have been put in place. A statement from Clare County Council said: “Following a preliminary inspection of the bridge on Thursday, the bridge has been closed on safety grounds, and will remain closed until further notice. We are carrying out further investigations to identify the cause(s) of the structural problems, with a view to determining appropriate repair options to allow the bridge to be brought back into use at the earliest opportunity.” The public are advised to used alternative routes, including the L8224 at Ballybrody (accessed near Ryan’s Quarry on the Corofin Road) or the L8320 at Erinagh (first right after Fountain Cross on the Corofin Road) onto the L8229 at Reaskaun.

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Visit Ennis Guide proves a hit

A new version of the Visit Ennis Guide is now available and it’s proving a big hit for families and shoppers seeking to make the most of what’s on in and around the county town. The free visitor guide features sections on ‘what to do and see’, shopping, accommodation, travel, emergency services as well as dining and entertainment. Now in its third edition, the Visit Ennis Guide is an initiative of Promote Ennis who contracted local company Actonbv to manage the publication process. Chairman of Promote Ennis, Brian O’Neill, is delighted by the both the standard of the publication and the feedback amongst visitors and local businesses. He is grateful for the support shown by local business that financed the production, “I would like to thank the business owners of the area who have funded the Guide through their advertising and listing contributions. This is a massive contribution to tourism in the area as a visitor guide of this standard …

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Conflicting views over €1.75m market plan

CONFLICTING views have been expressed about the €1.75 million redevelopment of the market area in Ennis by local councillors. Councillor Mary Howard said the provision of a covered Milk Market-style area for the town would result in one of the most “exciting projects” to rejuvenate the town centre. In fact, Councillor Howard told an Ennis Municipal District meeting on Monday that this development would provide an “iconic building” similar to the new Harmony Row Bridge in the town. However, Councillor Clare Colleran-Molloy expressed concern about the impact of funding this ambitious project from the council’s own finances, after director of services for planning and enterprise, Ger Dollard, confirmed the council had applied for department approval for a €1.75 million loan. The Fianna Fáil Councillor noted the lack of finance is already resulting in delay for the upgrading of public infrastructure. Councillor James Breen told the meeting he had been approached by people who claimed the planning notice for the Part …

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