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New Artistic Director announced for Ennis Book Club Festival

A NEW artistic director has been announced for the Ennis Book Club Festival. Dani Gill’s appointment follows on from Paul Perry who was the artistic director with the festival for the last four years. Dani and the committee will now begin work on programming for the 15th Ennis Book Club Festival which will take place on the first weekend of March in 2021. Dani has a wealth of experience in delivering festivals and is passionate about making literature accessible to all. She is a curator, producer, writer and educator, based in the west of Ireland. She is also the national Audience Development Officer for Words Ireland and was the Director of Cúirt International Festival of Literature from 2010-2016. She is very keen on developing outreach, access to the arts and community development projects. Dani’s first collection of poems was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017 and she has just completed a novel. Her literary hybrid show ‘Mirrors’, was part of the International Literature Festival Dublin, 2019. …

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Thunder storms prompt swimming ban at Ballyalla Lake

EXTREME thunder showers last Monday evening have prompted a ban on swimming in Ballyalla Lake, because of a spike in bacteria levels. Clare County Council and the HSE have issued the temporary swimming ban, which will remain in place until levels of bacteria drop. “The situation is being monitored regularly,” a council statement said. “The probation on swimming will be removed when the bacterial levels recede to acceptable levels. The elevated bacterial levels are as result of the extreme thunder showers which took place on Monday evening last.”

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Ennis pedestrianisation plan angers Abbey Street newsagent

AN ENNIS newsagent has voiced his concern over recently-introduced pedestrianisation measures, which have blocked access for deliveries to his premises. Gerry Connellan of Abbey Newsagents said that the erection of bollards close to his shop will make handling deliveries extremely difficult. The businessman, who has run the newsagents for decades, said he is able to manage currently – albeit with considerable inconvenience, but fears the impact of a spike in congestion from next Monday. The busy shop is located at the junction of Abbey Street and the Abbey Street car park, and relies on being able to receive deliveries seven-days-a-week. “First of all, there are bollards outside the shop, so I have to drive up onto a kerb which is two or three inches high,” he outlined. “Access to the shop is essential for me, as it is for all of the traders on the street.” Mr Connellan also hit out at the lack of consultation on the process. “As …

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Showing a little kindness at Cootes

AS is so often the case when campaigns of any sort begin, it was one single incident that led to the random act of kindness phenomenon that has unfolded in an Ennis shop. It is yet another example of how people have rallied around to help each cope with the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stephen Coote, owner of Cootes shop and bakery at Cahercalla Cross on the Kilrush Road, is amazed by the number of people that have been drawn to the notion of “strangers helping strangers” though their local store. Trade at Cootes has been badly affected by Covid-19, as there is no activity at the Éire Óg GAA grounds across the road and nearby St Flannan’s College is closed The random act of kindness idea began on Easter Saturday, April 11, when the Covid-19 regulations were being ratcheted up. Stephen said, “A woman who was out for a walk came into the shop …

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Tidy Towns still going strong in Ennis

THE national Tidy Towns competitions may be cancelled, but that hasn’t stopped the dedicated band of volunteers who have been keeping Ennis looking its best all year round. Just one of a number of initiatives underway locally has seen Ennis Tidy Towns join forces with the little ninjas of Ennis Coderdojo, asking them to develop Tidy Towns themed games and apps. The local Tidy Towns committee are looking forward to adjudicating what the youngsters come up with later this month. “If we don’t have actual Tidy Towns, we have virtual Tidy Towns,” smiles chairman of Ennis Tidy Towns Cormac McCarthy. He admits that there was disappointment in the community when it was announced this year’s contest would not be going ahead. The Ennis team, who have been hugely successful in the national contest, put in a “very strong submission” this year having worked right through the year. However, Cormac believes it was the right decision given the current Covid-19 crisis. …

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Ennis fashion retailers rising to the challenges of Covid-19

THE personalised, customer-focused shopping experience that has become synonymous with the town of Ennis is still continuing despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has resulted in retail closures throughout the county, with businesses increasingly focusing their efforts online in a bid to meet these new unprecedented challenges. The last few weeks have highlighted the importance of having an online shopping presence, according to Gwen Culligan of the County Boutique in Ennis. While Patrick Burke’s is set to launch a personal shopping service utilising popular apps so people can purchase while still maintaining social distancing. The County Boutique launched its website last year allowing people to buy the latest looks from the comfort of their own home. Gwen tells us they were “incredibly lucky” to already be online when the Covid-19 restrictions were introduced. “We’re selling every day at the moment. I had been spending some time over the last few months putting things on the site, but I’ve been …

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Laura Brennan documentary wins gold in New York

A DOCUMENTARY which followed the final months in the life of Laura Brennan has been given a prestigious international award. Laura Brennan: This is Me has won a Gold Award at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards. The award was presented in the Health / Media Information category. The film which documents Laura’s battle with cervical cancer at just 26 and her campaigning work to increase uptake of the HPV vaccine was made by RTÉ. Reacting to the win, producer Sinead Kennedy commented, “Laura would have been so proud and rightly so! She gave everything to ensure her voice was heard. Well, it’s being heard around the world Laura.” On behalf of the Brennan family, Laura’s brother Kevin expressed congratulations to the team behind the film. “Particular praise goes to Sally Roden (Executive Producer), Sinead Kennedy (Producer) and Kenny Mac Giola Phadraig (Director and Editor). The award relates to the documentary by RTÉ following the final chapters in …

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Ennis murder accused in isolation at Limerick prison

The 39 year- old man charged with the murder of Ennis man, Eoin Boylan is living in isolation at Limerick prison. Ennis District Court on Wednesday, a prison officer told the court via video-link that Nassar Ahmed of The Mews, Kilrush Road, Ennis was in isolation at Limerick prison and no reason was given. Mr  Ahmed first appeared before the court last Thursday charged with the murder of mature student, Eoin Boylan, (32), at Gordon Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis on Tuesday, April 14 last. In court last Thursday, Mr Ahmed was remanded in custody to appear before Wednesday’s sitting of Ennis District Court via video link. Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution last Thursday, Detective Garda Noelle Bergin told the court that she arrested Mr Ahmed for the purpose of charge at 23.45pm at Ennis Garda Station on Wednesday night, April 15. Detective Bergin told the court that Mr Ahmed replied ‘Okay’ after being charged with the murder offence. Legal …

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