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Second award for Clare garda

CLARE garda Joe Hayes is to receive his second national award this month for saving a drowning woman’s life last year. The Irish Water Safety’s SEIKO Just In Time Award is presented to those who come to the assistance of a person in difficulties in water. Garda Hayes, from Ennis, is being honoured for jumping into the River Shannon last June and rescuing a woman from the water. The presentation will be made by Minister Fergus O’Dowd at Irish Water Safety’s National Awards Ceremony in Dublin Castle later this month. Thirty-seven rescuers from 22 dramatic near-death incidents will receive recognition at Irish Water Safety’s National Awards Ceremony. Thirty-six lives were saved from drowning through the brave actions of Garda Hayes and other rescuers. Fergus O’Dowd, TD Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Government will present the SEIKO Just in Time Rescue Award to these rescuers in appreciation for saving …

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Parking initiatives for Christmas shopping

A NUMBER of parking initiatives are set to be put in place in the town in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to encourage shopping in the county capital. However, Ennis Town Council will put in place a scaled-back pedestrianisation policy on what had previously been proposed, following discussions with local businesses. At this week’s meeting of the local authority, town clerk, Leonard Cleary stated that in preparing the town’s pedestrianisation plan for Christmas, the council sought opinions from business people, ratepayers and property owners. It had originally been proposed to pedestrianise O’Connell Street on a number of Saturdays leading up to the festive period, as well as the days immediately before Christmas Day. The council received a number of submissions in relation to the plan, with Ennis Chamber suggesting pedestrianisation on two Saturdays, as well as the days leading up to Christmas. Mr Cleary revealed at this week’s meeting that “a larger December pedestrianisation policy does not seem …

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Watery Road residents ‘dealing with a nuisance’

SCREECHING birds, chainsaws roaring, horses running loose and excessive noise are just some of the difficulties that residents in the Watery Road area of Ennis are dealing with, according to one local councillor, who has called on Clare County Council to take action. Councillor Tommy Brennan voiced his concerns at this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council about a number of vacant properties in the area. He outlined that locals have complained about the excessive noise of chainsaws being used, as well as wild fowl and guinea fowl “screeching all day and all night”. He added that loose horses are being kept across the road. Councillor Brennan described the situation as a “downright disgrace”, urging that Clare County Council, as the housing authority, deal with the matter. He was supported by Councillor Brian Meaney, who commented that local residents are “dealing with a nuisance”. “The situation on the Watery Road simply can’t continue. It’s an eyesore, it’s a fester. It …

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Bravery awards for hero gardaí

A garda from Clare and a Clare-based garda collected national bravery awards on Friday for saving lives in separate dramatic river rescues. Garda James Hanley of Ennis Garda Station and Garda Joe Hayes of Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick both received certificates of bravery and bronze medals at the National Bravery Awards in in Farmleigh House. At 8pm on January 13 last, Garda James Hanley and a colleague responded to a 999 call indicating that a woman was seen in the River Fergus in Ennis. When they arrived at the scene, they found the woman hanging onto a life buoy in the river. As she was unresponsive to their calls, Garda Hanley climbed the river boundary wall and waded out to her. The woman was conscious but very frightened and weak. Garda Hanley managed to keep the woman’s head above water and continued to reassure her until he was able to pull her out of the water with the …

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Seven crashes in 11 days on ‘ugly mile’

A woman and her two children had a lucky escape on Thursday when the car in which they were travelling left the road at a notorious corner on the main Ennis to Ennistymon Road. The crash, just after midday, brought to seven, the number of accidents at Ballyknock, Kilnamona in the past 11 days according to Clare County Councillor James Breen. Councillor Breen, who lives in the area, has called for immediate action on the road to prevent further accidents. “That is seven crashes there in 11 days. I have looked for a meeting with the National Roads Authority, about that stretch of road. I think it is very, very serious and I am hoping the NRA will afford me a meeting. They haven’t come back to me yet. I want remedial work done there immediately, either the road realigned or something done before someone is killed there,” he said. The crash at lunchtime on Thursday involved a single car, …

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The Cloister Ennis Calls for retention of 9% VAT rate

The Restaurant Association of Ireland has kick-started a campaign to highlight how critical it is that the reduced VAT rate of 9% is kept in place for 2014 and beyond, in order for the Irish economy to remain competitive. The nine-day campaign began on September 9 and getting behind it is Ennis bar and restaurant The Cloister, run by husband and wife Dermot and Noreen Fetton. The couple are in their first year of business at this premises and are hugely concerned that the forthcoming budget could see a VAT hike, something that would make trading extremely difficult for them going forward. In embarking on the campaign to maintain the current VAT rate, The Cloister has lobbied Deputy Timmy Dooley for support. Mrs Fetton said the reason they got behind the campaign  is to stave off any further increase in overheads in their sector and to ensure jobs are retained and a quality service is maintained, while remaining competitive. “We …

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Picture emerges of new market

A radical new design concept has been put forward for the first phase of a planned re-vamp of Ennis’ market. Phase one of the redevelopment of the market will begin at Garraunakilla, the site of the current Farmer’s Market. The plans involve creating a ‘covered’ market, with the first phase part of a wider scheme of improvements to the entire market area. Consideration had been given to having ‘umbrella’ style covers of the market. However, the new design unveiled this week involves the creation of a permanent roof for market goers made of patent glazing or plexi-glass. The concept includes the creation of a landmark entrance from a new pedestrian forecourt in a highly visible location on the boundary between Market Place and Garraunakilla. The new enclosure design features a covering of the entire public circulation areas of the market with the permanent roof with retractable awnings giving cover to stalls on market days. It is proposed that the space …

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Clare to host first Polish celebration of culture

The first ever celebration of Polish heritage, history and culture in County Clare will be held later this month. The three-week long Polish Festival will take place at Clare Museum in Ennis from September 20 to October 12 and is being targeted at the region’s significant Polish population. There are more than 2500 Polish people living in County Clare with an estimated 19,000 other Poles living in the surrounding counties of Galway, Limerick and Tipperary. Amongst the free public events being hosted at Clare Museum will be lectures on Poland’s World War Two experience, Polish film screenings, an exhibition of Polish modern art, and a lecture by a Polish descendant of two Clare men who were shipwrecked in the Baltic Sea coast during the 17th century. The Festival is being supported by Clare Local Authorities and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Jakub Kacprzak, organiser of the Polish Festival, said, “We are very excited about hosting the upcoming …

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