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Ennis

Dearbhla’s app takes third place

DEARBHLA Edwards Murphy, a third-year pupil at Kilrush Community School finished third in the Green Dragon Agri Aware Innovation Challenge 2012 final, which was held at Croke Park last week.The competition was a search for Ireland’s most innovative pupils, who exhibited their ideas and concepts for new products and services for the agriculture, food, environment and health and safety sectors.From over 300 entrants to the regional finals in Athlone, Dearbhla’s project was included in the final five in the health and safety section.Dearbhla’s project was a smart phone application alerting users to the presence of carbon monoxide via a bluetooth connection to a wireless network in the home. The app alerted the smart phone user, issued instructions on the emergency of the situation, informed the user of the appropriate immediate action to be taken and contacted emergency services dialling 999.The judges were Jim Power, economist; Ella McSweeney, RTÉ; Hedi Corr, Dublin Innovation Centre and Eugene Heary, winner of the Apprentice …

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Wheeling in coach tourism

ATTRACTING coach-based tourism to Ennis is the key to boosting tourism and job prospects in the town with a possible tourist spend of €500,000 a week, according to a local councillor.Councillor Johnny Flynn has urged Ennis Town Council to push their plans to promote coach tourism and to create even more coach park spaces.It was announced by the local authority last week that additional bus and coach parking spaces have been allocated in the Friars’ Walk area of the town centre, next to the Clare Museum. The move has been widely welcomed by local businesses and coach providers, who expect a boost to the amount of coaches visiting the town.Ennis Town Council are also investigating a number of other capital projects including the development of a dedicated bus park equipped with maintenance facilities for tour operators. The provision of five additional coach spaces at Friars’ Walk is the first in a two-phase tourism strategy by Ennis Town council to attract …

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Ennis law firm nominated for prestigious award

A WELL-known Ennis law firm has been named as a finalist in the National Irish Bank Law Awards 2012. Michael Houlihan & Partners i is up for an award in the Munster Provincial Law Firm category at this year’s event. The inaugural National Irish Bank Irish Law Awards 2012 will take place on Friday, May 4 at an awards luncheon in The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, and will be hosted by leading current affairs broadcaster, Miriam O’Callaghan.Over 100 legal firms, individuals, law schools, and legal departments within the corporate sector were nominated for the National Irish Bank Irish Law Awards 2012.  The nominations were judged, and finalists were selected after deliberation by an adjudication panel of leading national and international legal experts, headed by chairman, Dr Eamonn Hall.  Dr Hall is principal of EG Hall & Co, former chairman of the Law Reporting Council for Ireland and currently a board member of the Irish Centre for European Law and member of …

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Coach tourism gearing up

EFFORTS to increase the level of coach tourism business in the town have moved up a gear with new plans unveiled by Ennis Town Council this week. Additional bus and coach parking spaces have been allocated in the Friars Walk area of the town centre, located adjacent to Clare Museum.The council is also investigating a number of other capital projects, including the development of a dedicated bus park equipped with maintenance facilities for tour operators.Welcoming the initiative, Mayor of Ennis Councillor Michael Guilfoyle said, “Ever since the completion of the N18 Ennis Bypass, we have witnessed a decline in the number of bus and coach operators visiting the town. Coach tourism remains very important for Ennis businesses and therefore, the council and its elected members along with members of the local business community must continue to examine ways of facilitating operators with easier access to the town centre.”The provision of five additional coach parking spaces at Friars Walk is the …

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Survey reveals worrying future for Ennis retailers

Those opposed to plans to construct a €34 million retail development on the outskirts of Ennis say that an independent survey conducted by Retail Excellence Ireland confirms their concerns about the proposal and the potential impact of the ‘doughnut effect’ on the town.Ennis Chamber, Ennis Development Forum, Ennis Street Associations and individual businesses recently made submissions to An Bord Pleanála calling on the planning authority to refuse planning for a retail development by Michael Lynch Ltd on the Limerick Road/Tobairteascain Road, with Tesco set to be the anchor tenant. While the developers say the plan will create 500 jobs and will make a “positive contribution” to the town, complementing existing business, those against the proposal say the Retail Excellence Ireland survey shows the potential for job losses in Ennis.The survey was carried out in Naas, County Kildare with the objective of determining the impact the opening of Tesco Extra 12 months ago had on the viability and vitality of its …

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Dab hands for Tidy Towns

THE children of An Bóithrín GAA Club, along with Ennis Tidy Towns, has been helping to brighten up the town this week with a colourful painting project.The children got their brushes out to paint a house in the Old Boreen in Ennis on Tuesday. According to Áine Purcell, chairperson of Ennis Tidy Towns Committee, “As well as brightening the area, we want to encourage local children to get to know the history of our town. An Bóithrín is called after the old boreen and we wanted the children to realise this connection and that in its day so many children would have lived in the boreen. They really enjoyed the experience and there was also a talk on the history of the boreen. It was fantastic to see the young people getting involved and being so enthusiastic. All over Ennis, there are lots of young people getting involved in clean-ups and other initiatives to improve our town,” she said.She added, …

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National Concert Hall date for schools

TWO local schools are to perform at the National Concert Hall in Dublin next week as part of a prestitigious national music competition.Both Holy Family Senior Primary School and Knockanean National School have made it to the finals of the Waltons Music for Schools Competition. The finalists in the first annual national competition and celebration of music in Ireland schools were recently announced by Lyric FM presenter Liz Nolan. The 12 finalist schools will travel to and perform at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Monday, April 16 at 1pm, when six schools, three primary and three post-primary, will be chosen to win first, second and third prizes, as well as €3000, €1500 and €500 vouchers. In deciding to make Holy Family Senior a finalist, judges acknowledged that in addition to a 120-strong choir and an 80-strong chamber choir, tuition in several instruments and a newly introduced violin teaching programme, Holy Family Senior Primary School has “taken highly creative …

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Club still making a splash 70 years on

CELEBRATING 70 years in existence this year, the Ennis Swimming and Lifesaving Club has played an integral part in the life of the town. From the early days of swimming at ‘The Turret’ on the River Fergus to hosting championships at Ennis Leisure Complex, the club has grown immensely over the years.According to Caitriona McMahon of the Ennis Swimming and Lifesaving Club, “The club has a fabulous heritage of which we are very proud. The club has given a lot to the town through the years.”It was while researching the history of the club for their application for accreditation under Swim Ireland that it was first realised that this season marks a very special anniversary.“We had applied for the accreditation and we had to go through a comprehensive process that lasted about a year and a half. Part of that process involved getting background on the club and that’s how all of this started and we realised it was the …

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