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Home » Breaking News » Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn to leave politics and will not contest the local election in June.
Johnny Flynn celebrating his 2019 election with his wife Catherine during the Clare Local Election count at the West County Hotel, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn to leave politics and will not contest the local election in June.


Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn (FG) has made the surprise announcement he is to leave the political arena and will not contest the local election in June.

“Coming up to an election, all politicians have to consider their position and with the election looming I had to consider it, and decided to give other candidates an opportunity.”

He contacted his fellow councillors to tell them his decision over the weekend. And now he has made the announcement, many members of the public have thanked him for his service over the last after 20 years. “It is all about the constituents rather than the politicians really,” he said.

Councillor Flynn has been interested in, and involved with environmental issues over his tenure at Clare County Council, and said there is “satisfaction” in leaving after the recent Clare Climate Action Plan 2024 – 2029 was adopted. “I am delighted with the final plan,” he said highlighting that the work done over the last couple of years on such policies within the local authority is important because it formulates policy for the next five or six years. He revealed that although he will be outside the political arena in the future, he plans to keep an eye out on climate issues.

And Councillor Flynn remains of the opinion the Ennis 2040 public realm plan is a mistake, revealing it was “one of the reasons” he is no longer continuing in local politics saying “it has not made sense.”

“I opposed the plans in 2020 saying it was the wrong building and development in the wrong location, and would be another white elephant like in the market. That is why I will continue with supporting the Save Ennis Town group,” he said.

“The first ten years he served as a town councillor, I worked with really knowledgeable and experienced town councillors and they were very committed to the town of Ennis and the people and economic life of the town,” he said.

However, he is of the opinion the government made a “serious mistake” with they abolished the town councils in 2014 replacing them with the municipal districts (MDs). Ten years on, the MDs do not work well for the town of Ennis with fewer staff and resources but at the same time, the MDs work well in rural areas. Then they wanted Ennis 2040 DAC, a “private company” to be involved with the development and delivery of the project, he said.

He said lot in the consultant’s report was quite worthwhile for example, proposals for the wetlands east of the town, to make Ennis Ireland’s first climate adaptive town, and the multi-storey car park with 550 spaces tying in with the idea of a 10-minute town. And Councillor Flynn has been as advocate since 2004 for park and ride on the outskirts of Ennis.

“Look at the vacancy rate in the town – instead of spending the €2.2 million they have already spent, they could have bought Our Lady’s Hospital on the Gort Road and done a park and ride, or had one at the Information Age Park or at the site of the old Boys National School.”

Personally speaking, his wife Catherine has recently retired from her business, Flynn’s Pharmacy, and the couple have just welcomed their first grand-child, Molly. “It’s fantastic; it’s extraordinary really. I think of my late parents, god rest them, when I see my grandchild,” he said.

And what are his plans are for his future post Clare County Council? “Hopefully I will get the chance to play a bit of sport. I am a diabetic and recovering from cancer. I plan to volunteer and I will still be an active citizen. I will be asking elected representatives after June 7 and lobbying them on various issues. I love Ennis and I have served on various committees. I am quite emotional about finishing anyway. I have made a lot of friends and undoubtedly I’ve annoyed a few people as well.”

Sharon Dolan D'Arcy

Sharon Dolan D'Arcy is originally from Ennis. Her work as a print journalist has appeared in a number of regional publications. She worked as court reporter at The Sligo Weekender newspaper and is a former editor of The Athenry News and Views. She covers West Clare news.

About Sharon Dolan D'Arcy

Sharon Dolan D'Arcy is originally from Ennis. Her work as a print journalist has appeared in a number of regional publications. She worked as court reporter at The Sligo Weekender newspaper and is a former editor of The Athenry News and Views. She covers West Clare news.

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