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Transformation of Ennis’ town centre moves closer

THE next stage in the transformation of Ennis’ town centre has moved a step forward with Part 8 planning lodged by Clare County Council for the re-vamping of O’Connell Street. The plans, part of the overall Ennis Town Centre Public Realm Regeneration Project, include an upgrade of the public realm of O’Connell Street, with the one-way traffic flow retained. There will also be the creation of a new civic space outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, including shared surfacing in natural stone materials; street furniture; replacement street lighting; signage; tree planting and rain gardens; and all ancillary works; together with changing Barrack Street (east) from raised kerbs to flush shared surface. According to a design report the result of the works “will be a safer and more attractive pedestrian environment and spaces for all sectors of the community, facilitating the Town Centre as a destination for visitors, improving its vitality and enabling Ennis to capitalise on its unique …

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Re-design of Ennis development sought

A RE-DESIGN of an entire development proposed for an historic area of Ennis’ town centre has been sought by the planning authority who have voiced “serious concerns” about the visual impact. Clare County Council have sought further information on the plans by Eko Integrated Services Ltd for the Drumbiggle area, with the local authority highlighting issues including that the height, massing and scale is “not acceptable” as currently proposed. Eko Integrated Services Ltd lodged the application for the development at Drumbiggle Road, Buttermarket Street and Simm’s Lane which if given the green light will see the construction of 46 residential units, a digital hub and cafe. The further information request states, “While a contemporary approach may be considered by the planning authority, this design ethos must have regard to the existing urban fabric in the vicinity of the site, the location of the site within the Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) and the adjoining hitoric buildings”. The developers have been asked …

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Objectors to Ennis Data Centre cite environmental concerns

CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a €1.2 billion Ennis data centre have gathered hundreds of signatures from people supporting an objection to the development. Meanwhile, close to 50 submissions have been made to Clare County Council in relation to the planning application lodged by Art Data Centres Ltd. An objection to the plan made by Future Proof Clare includes the signatures of 250 people, the majority of which the organisation say were gathered within seven hours in Ennis’ town centre. Concerns have been raised about the planned development by politicians, individuals and groups with Future Proof Clare, Extinction Rebellion Clare and the Clare Environment Network joining forces in their opposition to the plans. Friends of the Irish Environment, Environmental Trust Ireland and Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe are also among those who lodged submissions. In their objection to the planning authority, Future Proof Clare have argued that the “extremely high electricity consumption will increase Ireland’s carbon emissions at a time when …

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Local groups mark heritage week both online and offline

THE weather was wet and miserable last Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t stop more than 40 people turning out for a Heritage Week event at Hasting’s Cottage in Shannon. One of the most historic sites in the country’s newest town, Hastings Cottage is where the British Army’s General Lucas was held for part of his time in captivity, during the War of Independence. A group of musicians from the Sixmilebridge Folk Club provided music on the day, it being their first live performance in almost 18 months. Following this there were some short talks on the history of the site and its inhabitants. Hastings Cottage has been in the care of heritage group Dúchas na Sionna for the last ten years and its secretary Olive Carey outlined the progress that is being made in preparation for the complete restoration of the farmhouse barn, as a community, cultural and heritage facility. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council PJ Ryan spoke at the …

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Ennis Chamber’s golf classic offers a ‘hole’ lot of fun

ENNIS Chamber holds its annual Golf Classic on Friday, September 3, with Munster Group as its main sponsor. This year’s classic takes place at Ennis Golf Club and is open to teams of four (best two scores to count). According to a spokesperson for Ennis Chamber, “As well as prizes for the teams including a 4-ball at Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg, there are prizes for Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive. But more than that, the teams enjoy a great day out.” Teams of four at €250  to include a two-course meal. To book a team contact info@ennischamber.ie

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Town’s main streets soon to be reopened to vehicle traffic

THE pedestrianisation of Ennis’ town centre is set to be rolled back from the end of this month with vehicular traffic restrictions to finish by September 30. The Temporary Covid-19 Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan taskforce has been dissolved. This comes following a meeting of the taskforce earlier this month during which a review of the current implementation of the plan took place. Based on their assessment and taking into account current public health guidelines, children returning to school, and facilitating outdoor dining, an exit strategy from the plan was agreed. With effect from August 30, current restrictions on vehicular traffic will be lifted within the town centre on Abbey and O’Connell Streets, with some exceptions for the next month. These are Monday-Friday, 11am to 2pm; Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm. From September 30, all restrictions will be lifted. In Lower Parnell Street, the current road closure will also apply until September 30. A spokesperson for Clare County Council …

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Ennis woman’s 32-peak trek for Pieta

ENNIS native Ashling Kelly has almost completed a 32-peak challenge, in which she climbs the highest peak of each county on the island of Ireland, to raise funds for Pieta House. Ashling spent much of her time in preparation for this impressive feat keeping fit and plotting the routes she was going to take, as some of the peaks she conquered were in clusters that she could complete over the course of a few days. The challenge also required Ashling to camp out near the peaks, something that added a new and exciting element to the feat altogether. Now with only three peaks left to climb, Ashling has raised over €2700 online at the donation website JustGiving and she can be supported here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ashling-kelly1 This challenge was something Ashling had always wished to complete, and she was inspired to do so during lockdown and give the proceeds to Pieta House due to the mental pressures of quarantine.   By Conor …

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Remote working revolution comes to Clare’s county town

REMOTE working for those living in the county town has taken a major step forward with the opening of the Ennis Digital Hub. The state-of-the-art facility at the Quin Road Business Park was officially opened by Minister Heather Humphries at the end of last month and brings to ten the number of hubs operating under Clare County Council’s Digiclare initiative. Among those welcoming the centre was Councillor Johnny Flynn who said the hub was a long-time goal for the county town. “Six years ago, I tabled a notice of motion requesting a feasibility study be carried out on the development of a hub for Ennis,” he outlined. “I believe the facility will be critical in enabling people living in the area to enable employment. The Ennis hub is the tenth in the county, so the people of the county town have been waiting patiently as the rural centres were developed first. The potential of the hub is huge in enabling …

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