THE revitalisation of Parnell Street has moved a step closer. Funding for a proposed heritage and cultural quarter in Ennis and a feasibility study into the covering of Parnell Street has been allocated under the Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ) initiative.
The €94,000 funding for the proposed project in Ennis is part of a wider allocation totalling €184,000 for the county with projects in Scariff and Shannon also getting funds.
According to a spokesperson for Clare County Council, the initiatives proposed for Ennis, for which part funding was received, include looking into the feasibility of covering Parnell Street and the development of the wider area a a heritage/cultural quarter. “In addition, an initiative to create a digital hub to provide space, high speed connectivity and telecom facilities to start up enterprises in the area also formed part of the submission.”
Director of Services Ger Dollard has described the funding allocation for the county as “exceptionally good news” adding that the council looks forward to working with local communities in delivering the proposals.
Ennis Councillor and Cathaoirleach James Breen stated he is “delighted” that the council has secured the funding. “I have no doubt that this funding allocation will help to rejuvenate and revitalise rural areas which are badly in need of funding and support from Central Government,” he commented.
The councillor had at last month’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District called for the feasibility study into covering Parnell Street to be carried out. He stated that it would rejuvenate the area and create a hub of activity during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. At the meeting, officials for the local authority cautioned that covering the street “is not a straight forward proposal”.
Councillor Breen’s motion was supported by his fellow councillors and it was agreed that part of the REDZ funding would go towards carrying out the feasiblity study.
Meanwhile Councillor Johnny Flynn has highlighted the importance of Clare’s CEDRA working group in helping achieve this funding. Councillor Christy Curtin is the chair of the group which includes Councillors Johnny Flynn, Keating, Cooney, O’Brien, Colleran Molloy, Gerry Flynn and PJ Ryan.
“The success of getting this €94,000 to do a feasibility study to research the potential of these options is great news for the Parnel Street Area , Ennis and its wide rural hinterland. I welcome the funding of all three Clare towns projects but in particular the Ennis project to report on the feasibility of revitalising , in economic and social terms, the town’s historic Parnell Street area.
“The success of Clare getting approval for one sixth of the total number of funded projects and nearly one tenth of the total national funding under this this pilot CEDRA scheme shows, I believe, the benefit of setting up focused working groups , chaired by experienced and capable chairpersons such as Councillor Christy Curtin, of councillors and officials work together in a short time frame on specific target areas that ultimately benefit Clare and its citizens.”
By Jessica Quinn