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Outdoor Easter trail on the streets of Ennis

A PILGRIM trail through the streets of Ennis has been created to reflect on the suffering caused by the pandemic and to mark the feast of Easter. Representing the stations of the cross, a number of art works and images have been installed in windows from the monastery of the Poor Clares, through Abbey Street, The Square and into O’Connell Street. Director of Youth Ministry for the Killaloe Diocese Joanne O’Brien said the aim is to help people to reflect on the meaning of Easter as well as on the struggles of the last year. The initiative will culminate on Easter Saturday with the installation of an Easter Garden at the Town Hall on O’Connell Street. The trail has been in the planning for the last six weeks and also involves Pastoral Worker Maureen Kelly and Dr Sue O’Brien who is Director of Ecumenism for the Diocese of Killaloe. “We came together, along with Róisín O’Loughlin and Sr Betty O’Riordan …

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€4m funding boost announced for Clare county town

CLARE County Council has been granted a sum of just over €4 million towards the Ennis Town Centre Public Realm Regeneration project, writes Owen Ryan. Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien announced that Ennis was among the successful applicants under the State’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), which is intended to drive regeneration and rejuvenation of strategic and under-utilised areas in cities and large towns. In Ennis it will see works at O’Connell Square, High Street, Bank Place, Barrack Street and Old Barrack Square, with an overall cost of €5,390,391. The URDF funding comes to €4,042,793 with Clare County Council financing the remainder. In O’Connell Square, High Street and Bank Place there will be civic space and public realm enhancements including traffic calming, resurfacing, provision of upgraded street furniture and planting. The Barrack Street and Barrack Square area will see traffic calming, planting of street trees, public artwork, the provision of distinctive street furniture and lighting …

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Laura’s family in plea to reinstate schools HPV vaccination scheme

AN OPEN letter has been sent by the family of the late campaigner Laura Brennan appealing to health officials to reinstate the HPV vaccination scheme for teens. As the second anniversary of the Ennis woman’s untimely death from cervical cancer approaches, her family fear that the vaccination campaign, to which Laura dedicated her final years and months, is being thrown off course by pandemic restrictions. Laura’s work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Health Service Executive (HSE), led to uptake rates for the HPV vaccine surpassing 80% nationally and 90% in Clare. Pandemic restrictions and school closures have disrupted the HPV vaccination programme normally available, free-of-charge, to boys and girls in first year at secondary school. The HSE describes the scheme as “paused” because school vaccination teams are currently involved in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. “We are all fully aware of the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on our country and the strain it has put on …

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Armed robbery in the early hours of Clare convenience store

GARDAI are seeking witnesses after an armed robbery in the early hours of Sunday morning from a convenience store. At 3.39 a.m. on Sunday, March 7 a lone male entered Centra on the Gort Road Ennis carrying a large knife. He went behind the counter and ordered the attendant to place the contents of the till into a white bag which he did – he then left on foot running out the Gort Road. The man was wearing a black jacket, navy pants, black beanie hat, black runners and black face mask. The members of staff weren’t injured but this was a very traumatic incident for them. Gardai have asked anyone who was in the area of Centra on the Gort Road in the early hours of Sunday morning between 3.15 a.m. and 4 a.m. and saw a male matching this description or anyone who has dash cam footage to contact Ennis Garda Station on 065 6848100.

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€200k allocation for walk and cycle route that will link to planned West Clare greenway

THE Government has given the green light for a new walk and cycle route that will eventually link Clarecastle to Ennis and on to the planned West Clare Greenway Local TD Joe Carey welcomed the allocation of €200,000 under the Government’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme Measure 2 to the River Fergus Walk & Cycle project, saying he is “overjoyed” the first phase of the cycle and walking route has been approved”. The Clarecastle-based TD recounted how he has lobbied his colleagues in government on the project for several years, including Minister for the OPW Patrick O’Donovan who visited the area in December 2020. The Fine Gael deputy said: “This is really exciting news for the community. The River Fergus Walk & Cycle will be a fantastic amenity that residents, commuter and visitors to the area will enjoy for generations to come.” It has been several years since the Clarecastle Community Development Ltd (CCDL) and Ennis Chamber identified the opportunity to …

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Council does not have to pick up the human misery created in Ennis, says Clare judge

CLARE County Council does not have to pick up the messes and human misery created in Ennis, a judge said this week when refusing a certificate to operate an adult-only amusement arcade in the county town, writes Gordon Deegan. Judge Patrick Durcan made the comments in Ennis District Court when the applying solicitor said the Council had granted planning permission to operate 60 gaming machines for a new adult-only amusement arcade. Judge Durcan replied that the council would not have considered the impact the arcade would have on the social fabric of society. He opined that there are already enough gaming machines in operation in Ennis town centre. Judge Durcan refused the application by Girdol Ennis Ltd pointing out that there are already three other certificates in operation for a total of 105 gaming machines for Ennis town centre. The judge said the relevant Act stated that he shall have regard to the number of gaming certificates in the area …

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Clare Gift Card hailed a success as the public gets behind local business

ENNIS Chamber’s Clare Gift Card initiative attracted sales of more than €125,000 in the run up to Christmas, it has been confirmed. The business representative group has described the success of the card launched in November as proof positive of the outstanding support from the people of Clare as they got behind local businesses for Christmas 2020. “Ennis Chamber has a track history in the vouchers market, having previously sold Ennis Gold Gift Vouchers, but we realised during the first lockdown that we had to move away from a paper-based voucher scheme this year to offer a gift card solution that could be purchased locally but also online. As with many of our fellow chambers around Ireland we opted to outsource the delivery of Clare Gift Card to One4all who could ensure sales of the card through local post offices as well as online,” said Margaret O’Brien, CEO, Ennis Chamber. “We used local press, radio and social media to push …

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Banner teams strive for title of Ireland’s fittest family

TWO ultra-fit Clare families will put their strength and stamina to the test on national television over the coming weeks in a bid to be crowned Ireland’s Fittest Family. The hit TV show, which already features Clare man and Wexford hurling boss, Davy Fitzgerald, will see the Kulczynski family from Ennis and the O’Halloran family from Newpark, Kilkishen go through extreme endurance challenges in settings from ski slopes to bogs. Over the course of the series, which started last Sunday on RTÉ One, a total of 16 families will be whittled down to four for a gruelling final contest, from which only one winning team can emerge. With highly impressive fitness credentials, the Kulczynski family are hotly tipped to stay in contention until the very end. Elite junior triathlete, Sabian has multiple national titles in triathlons, aquathons and duathlons and represents Ireland in competitions across Europe. He is a swimmer, mountain biker, road biker and used to run cross country. …

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