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Opposition to large-scale supermarket

Opposition to the proposed development of a 70,000ft2 foodstore at the junction of Tobarteascain and the Clare Road in Ennis is gathering momentum.The investment of over €34 ­million will create 300 construction jobs and between 180 and 200 permanent sustainable jobs at a time when unemployment is at its worst in Clare since the 1980s, according to Seamus Lynch, managing director of Michael Lynch Limited.“Contrary to claims that we plan to build a shopping centre, the planning application we made is for a foodstore and  not a shopping centre,” he said. “Specifically, the site will include a foodstore, a purpose-built community building to house a much-needed new library that will be handed over to Ennis Town Council free-of-charge  and a new office building for Michael Lynch Limited.  “Our planning application has clearly stated that Tesco will continue to operate at the Ennis Shopping Centre, it will not be closing.”Ennis Chamber and Ennis Development Forum said they want to bring clarity …

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Local business groups engage with TDs

Ennis Development Forum and Ennis Chamber, at a recent meeting with Clare’s four TDs, outlined concerns at the fact that unemployment in the Ennis area has grown dramatically since 2007 from 2,000 to over 6,000.The meeting was part of an initiative whereby representatives of the business community in Ennis met with their elected representatives to highlight job retention and creation issues that require assistance and advice from both sides.  The Clare TDs had undertaken to follow up at national level on the various obstacles to the progress of job creation locally.These include the lack of adequate signage for Ennis on the motorway; the need for a marketing budget and strategy for Shannon Airport; the delays in renewable energy connection to the national grid; the threat to the development of the northern shore of the Shannon Estuary by EU designations; public transport issues including the situation for taxi drivers and the cost and regulation for doing business, including commercial rates.  The …

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Gaelcholáiste’s future at a critical juncture

A survey on the future of Gaelcholáiste an Chláir, which stands on the campus of Ennis Community College, indicates very strong support for the availability of Irish-medium education at second-level.It also indicates strong support for moving the Gaelcholáiste to its own campus, while a minority favours either independent status and remaining on the current campus or staying as it is, a unit operating within the community college.The survey was conducted by County Clare Vocational Education Committee, with the assistance of an external researcher, to assess the demand in the county for second-level education entirely through Irish.As a unit of the community college, the latter a DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) status school in the centre of Ennis, the Gaelcholáiste has 137 pupils and an average yearly intake of 30, three-quarters of whom transfer from the Gaelscoileanna throughout the county.The survey report was presented to the October meeting of the VEC but a decision on the matter was deferred …

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Trading business between punches

This time last year, Michael O’Halloran and Mark Sillman were two of the boxers training for the first Clare Conquest fight night.  Both men had previously boxed and found the return to the sport motivating, energising and familiar. They enjoyed the training, the camaraderie and the welcome return to a fitness they had let slide in recent times.   In fact, they had never met and had no idea that in their efforts to support local causes, they would form a friendship that would become a business partnership within months.  As they trained, they recognised that many of their fellow boxers were interested in continuing the training after the charity event, that it was a lifestyle choice that all ages could enjoy and that boxing for fitness was here to stay.  The seed of a business proposition was sown between punches and after an exciting fight night last November Fitness Boxing Ireland (FBI) came into existence. Mark and Michael undertook a …

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Ballyea rallies to help child with rare disorder

THE community of Ballyea have come together in a bid to raise funds to help a local six-year-old with a rare genetic disorder. Little Eimear Power, who attends Ballyea National School, was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality when she was two-and-a-half. It is hoped that money raised from a greyhound night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium this Friday will allow Eimear access therapies that would lead to a better quality of life for her.Eimear’s mother Teresa, the family, husband, Gerry, and their two other daughters, have been “overwhelmed” with the support Eimear has received from the local community.She explained her daughter’s condition is very rare, with the initial signs there when she was just a few hours old. Teresa recalled, “When she was born, within 24 hours there were things wrong but nobody could tell us the cause until she was two-and-a-half and the geneticist in Crumlin gave us a diagnosis. Her condition is very rare. There were children out there …

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Trad Festival – good for business but all about the music

THE Ennis Trad Festival is set to bring a welcome €1 million boost to the region when it kicks off this November. Tens of thousands of music lovers are set to descend on Ennis next month for the festival.According to John Rynne, Ennis Trad Festival director, “I’ve been talking to publicans and hoteliers here about figures and the festival is definitely worth a million plus to the region every year. This would be between accommodation, drink sales, food, taxis, everything factored in. We have an enormous number of people flying in from abroad and a lot of these people would be coming for a week to the region. And what they might spend at the festival isn’t the entirety of what they would spend in the region as a result of the festival.”He added, “From a commercial point of view, the pub trade and hotels have all been hit with the recession and with winter coming in and November, with …

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Window shopping with a difference this weekend

THERE will be plenty of model behaviour in Ennis this Saturday with shoppers having the chance to go window shopping with a difference as part of an innovative plan to showcase some of the town’s fashionable flair.A number of local boutiques have come together to display their styles in a very different way. A shop window on O’Connell Street will be transformed this Saturday with live mannequins modelling outfits from boutiques throughout the town.The event has been organised by Nicola Danagher along with Fiona Allen. Nicola explained, “We were just trying to come up with something a bit different that would attract people to come into Ennis and see just what this town has to offer, to get people to come back onto the streets and shop here. We have a wide range of styles and ages and something to suit all. We think this is a unique event and a change from the norm. This is a non-profit event, …

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