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Ennis

Knockanean school development gets green light

A LONG awaited multi-million euro re-development of Knockanean National School has been given the green light by Clare County Council. The plans submitted by the Office of Public Works (OPW) include the construction of eight new classrooms, with an existing four-classroom block built in 2011 retained and integrated into the new build. The new development will not result in an increase in student numbers at the school, with a condition of planning limiting school enrolments to 297 pupils. The number of enrolments can only be changed with another planning permission. According to the planning authority, “In the interests of traffic safety and free flow, the protection of adjacent amenities and to control the intensity of use of the site, it is considered appropriate to restrict pupil numbers to current enrolment levels in order to provide for a qualitative improvement of school facilities.” Councillor Johnny Flynn, part of the project team established to realise the new development, has described the planned …

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Direct Provision residents join Ennis Tidy Towns

RESIDENTS of Direct Provision in Ennis have joined efforts to keep the county capital looking its best by becoming the newest members of Ennis Tidy Towns. According to new member Innocent Iroaganachi, “Participating in taking care of the community, like we did in Miltown Malbay, is our little way of saying thanks to the community that has contributed so much to our well-being.” Ten men who are international protection applicants and are residing in Ennis Clare Lodge, which began operating as a direct provision (DP) centre late last year, have been inducted as members of the local organisation. The induction which took place at the Abbey Street Car Park, saw in attendance some long standing members of Ennis Tidy Towns. Among the newly joined members were: Aung from Bangladesh, Amin from Algeria, Godsway from Ghana, Membratu from Eritrea, Nicholas and Jonas from Zimbabwe, Andrea, Onise and Koba from Georgia and Innocent from Nigeria. In preparation for their first clean-up operation …

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Investment in walking and cycling will have a positive impact says Better Ennis

A NEW Ennis based community group advocating for “healthy and happy streets” believe investment in walking and cycling infrastructure in the proposed Programme for Government will have a positive impact on public health and the local economy. The proposed Programme for Government includes a ring-fenced investment of €360m in walking and cycling infrastructure throughout Ireland. Better Ennis have welcomed what it describes as a “serious investment” in active travel infrastructure. The Programme for Government includes the commitment to develop a national network of greenways – not only as tourist amenities, but designed and implemented so that they can be used by students, commuters and people enjoying cycling as their daily physical exercise. There is a focus on increasing the numbers of children walking and cycling to school and Better Ennis say will have a “huge positive impact” in reducing traffic within Ennis town. “It is important that the active travel infrastructure is well designed, implemented, and maintained, and in that …

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Calls for ‘socially distant’ community space at Ennis Market

ENNIS’ Market Building could be used to create a ‘socially distant’ community space where locals and visitors can sit down and enjoy food and beverages, it has been suggested. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Councillor Clare Colleran-Molloy believes that the building could be used to support efforts within the town to promote social distancing in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The transformation of the Ennis Market would also provide a boost to local restaurants by providing additional seating. The idea is now set to be brought to the stakeholders group involved in the Temporary Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan for review. Councillor Colleran-Molloy proposed the idea for developing a seating area in the market at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. She explained, “As it will be a while before we will be back up and running, and based on contributions received from the public, I would ask that the Market Building be utilised as a …

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CCTV cameras needed at Drumcliff Cemetery due to “demented and disrespectful” behaviour

GRIEVING families are “distraught” and feel their deceased loved ones are being “forgotten about” after being buried in part of Drumcliff cemetery. While reports of items disappearing from graves in the older section of the cemetery has been condemned as “appalling and upsetting” sparking calls for CCTV cameras to be installed. Councillor Mark Nestor, speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, urged works are needed to improve the layout of the burial ground and provide greater connectivity between the old and new sections. He pointed out that there is a row of trees acting as a barrier between two sections. He outlined that people who have family members buried in Drumcliff are “in a very, very bad way and are very distraught at the layout of the graveyard.” He said, “Those who have people buried in the new section feel very much they have been forgotten about and left out. If you look at the whole row of …

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Councillor Paul Murphy “honoured” to be elected new Mayor of Ennis

CLARECASTLE’S Councillor Paul Murphy said he is “honoured” to don the chain of office after his election as the new Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District. The occasion, usually marked with handshakes and hugs of congratulations, was a very different affair this year with social distancing due to Covid-19. Taking the helm of the Ennis Municipal District meeting this week following his election the councillor admitted “Not being able to shake hands, it’s surreal. Hopefully going forward Covid will die down and we can revert back to what we normally are. I miss the warmth of a handshake or an embrace from a friend.” He paid tribute to his predecessor Councillor Johnny Flynn describing him as a “shining beacon for the town, a real townie”. He outlined that there is a lot of work ongoing within the district, including the development of the mobility plan which has proved valuable in adapting to Covid-19. Councillor Murphy believes that the strives made …

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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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