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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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Clare woman, 98, finally gets vaccine as she welcomes new great-great grand-daughter

SARAH Ryan’s great-great-grandchild River was born in London this Monday on the same day that the Clare woman finally got vaccinated against Covid-19, writes Dan Danaher. Sarah, who lives in Emelagh near Quilty, has 13 children, 34 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. The great-great-grandmother was left in despair in recent weeks amid concerns she was being left behind in the national vaccination programme. Her grandson, Declan Wilkes, (37) recently went public to highlight the family’s growing frustration over the delay. “Thank god the day has finally arrived. She’s uplifted, it’s completely transformed her mood – the thought that no one cared and of being left behind was so upsetting to see. “We’re relieved beyond belief; it’s been an emotional few days since Sarah’s story came out. It’s resonated with a lot of families out there still waiting. “It’s also brought great comfort to my mother, Rita, who as her carer, has lived with the fear every day …

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Motorists to be warned of pedestrians on Ennistymon walk

SAFETY improvements are to be made at a scenic walk, along the River Inagh, in Ennistymon, following a request from local Councillor Shane Talty. Tabling a notice of motion to the most recent meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, the Fianna Fáil member urged officials to address an issue at Shrohill on the Falls River Walk. “The river walk was developed with the assistance of CLÁR funding and it’s been a fantastic sanctuary for many throughout Covid,” he said. “The problem, at the moment, is that those using the walk have to emerge onto the road and there are very dangerous bends before they go back onto the walk.” Councillor Talty thanked Senior Executive Engineer (SEO), Enda McNamara, for his reply which undertook to install safety signage to warn motorists of the presence of pedestrians in the Shrohill area. Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Joe Garrihy also welcomed the news. “This is a popular walk,” he …

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“We lost out again”-Shannon denied URDF funding

WHILE over €4 million has been announced for Ennis under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, the second largest town in Clare wasn’t successful. It has left a sour taste in Shannon, where recent years have seen persistent complaints that the town does not have the facilities that a town of around 10,000 people and with a huge industrial base should have. It is hard to think of any major projects in the town that have been completed in recent years with the exception of Shannon Town Park, which opened in 2019 at a cost of €1.5 million. There are also plans for a future new community sports hub. There is no doubt that the centre of Ennis is already a far more attractive place than the equivalent area in Shannon, which still doesn’t have a conventional streetscape and local independent councillor Gerry Flynn said that the failure to get anything from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund is another …

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Radio play festival commended for boost to local drama circuit

A FESTIVAL of radio plays, hosted by Scariff Bay Community Radio (SBCR), has been lauded by one of the national amateur drama umbrella groups for finding keeping the flag flying for local theatre, in the teeth of the Level 5 lockdown. Joanne Keane, Chairperson of The Drama League of Ireland (DLI), described The Clare Drama Radio Play Festival, which runs at weekends until Easter Sunday night, April 4, as “hugely successful and innovative”. Ms Keane opened the festival earlier this month and will make a virtual presentation to the overall winners of the Alan Sparling Perpetual Trophy. While thousands of people across the country would normally be involved in the national festival circuit at this time of year, the pandemic put paid to that and caused deep disappointment across the amateur drama community. As a response to the restrictions, SBCR teamed up with the long-established Clare Drama Festival to provide an outlet for the drama groups and audiences who would …

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More lighting concerns in rural West Clare

FURTHER concerns have been raised in West Clare over the adequacy of street lighting in rural areas. At the March meeting of the Municipal District committee, the matter was brought up by Councillor Gabriel Keating who called for upgrade works in Knockerra Village. “There are a number of houses on the side road close to the church and there is not public lighting there whatsoever,” he said. “I would ask the authority to look at rectifying this situation as soon as possible.” A written reply from Alan Kennelly, Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) outlined that works are unlikely unless money becomes available to the authority. “Clare County Council does not have any plans to extend public lighting along the L-6168-0 – the side road up by the Church,” the response said. “If a funding source should become available then public lighting may be installed.” The response prompted Councillor Ian Lynch to ask officials to provide estimates on the cost of street …

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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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Call for boost to West Clare pier lighting

LIGHTING on piers in West Clare is critical to supporting what remains of the county’s fishing industry, a local councillor has said. At this month’s meeting of the Municipal District committee, Councillor Cillian Murphy described the issue as “close to his heart”. “As someone who was involved in the fishing industry, I know the importance of having proper services on our piers,” he said. “Fishing crews have started to gear back up and I’ve had contact in relation to both of the piers in Carrigaholt. But, equally, I’m making the call on behalf of fishermen using all of the district’s piers, lights must be operational on all of them. For the want of a few bulbs, we could be making these areas a lot safer. There was no light at all on either of the Carrigaholt piers at one stage. We have little enough left of our fishing industry at this stage and this would go some way toward supporting …

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