PROPOSALS for the transformation of Ennis into Ireland’s answer to Venice are set to get underway between Ennis Town Council and Promote Ennis. At a recent meeting of the local authority, Councillor Johnny Flynn called for the town to build on Lisdoonvarna’s world renowned match making reputation by promoting Clare and Ennis as the “premier romance county”.
He urged that the town capitalise on the development of the Wild Atlantic Way, rather than allowing the town to be bypassed by tourists.
He stated there needs to be a draw to bring people to Ennis from the Atlantic Way, suggesting drafting bylaws to permit horse-drawn jarvey journeys around the town and ‘gandelow’ journeys on the river Fergus.
According to Councillor Flynn, the gandelow is a traditional boat that was once a fixture of the Shannon and Fergus estuary. He insisted this plan can be developed in a short time span and would encourage some of the hundreds of thousands of people expected to travel along the Atlantic Way to detour into Ennis.
Councillor Flynn said he has spoken to those in the equestrian business in the town, who have expressed an interest in getting involved, along with members of the rowing club in Clarecastle.
“I think the potential is there of using the Fergus. this is an ideal opportunity and we need to move quickly,” he stated.
The motion was seconded by Councillor Paul O’Shea. Mayor of Ennis Councillor Peter Considine welcomed “anything we can do to enhance the promotion of the town”. Councillor Mary Howard described the proposal as “novel” adding, “If they can have jarveys in Dublin, I can’t see why we can’t have them here”.
Leonard Cleary, town clerk, responded to the motion saying, “Ennis Town Council will discuss this proposal with Promote Ennis to establish if the business community would be interested in investing in such a project. If the project were feasible, Ennis Town could research bylaws based on best established practice in other towns.”
Town manager Ger Dollard stated that discussion on bylaws would be “premature” until there were some discussion on how the proposal would work. “We would be putting the cart before the horse,” he added.