THE River Fergus could be flowing green this St Patrick’s Day under proposals to transform the entire town for the national holiday.
Councillor Mary Howard, at this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council, suggested the town be turned green for the day to celebrate our patron saint in 2013.
She proposed the council join forces with local businesses and venues to have key landmarks in the town lit with green lights. She has also urged the council to investigate turning the Fergus green for the duration of the festivities.
“I have been speaking with people from Dublin City Council and it is a very simple procedure. For the green lights, it is only a matter of putting on filters and they are very effective. Anybody I have spoken to about this are very pro this. Next year is a big year with the Gathering and the 25th anniversary of our twinning with Phoenix and this is a chance for Ennis Town Council to showcase ourselves. When Americans come to Ireland for St Patrick’s Day, it is Dublin they go to but this is our chance.”
Leonard Cleary, town clerk with Ennis Town Council responded, “The technical staff of Ennis Town Council will research the feasibility of this project. With regard to turning the River Fergus green there are non-toxic dye products that are used for tracing watercourses and that could be used for this purpose. The river through the town is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and consultation will be required with other agencies.
“The council are trying to ascertain the cost of these products as the quantities required would be larger than normally used for dye tracing. The council will respond once the information is received.”
Councillor Johnny Flynn lent his support to the proposal saying, “Anything that puts Ennis on the map is great”.
However, Councillor Frankie Neylon questioned the amount of money this would cost.
“We have 6,000 people on the Live Register in the town and people out there who can’t afford the €100 household charge. St Patrick’s Day has always been green since I was a child and if we had the money, I would turn the whole town green. It’s a great idea but if it only costs €100 it’s too much as far as I am concerned. People will always have a welcome in Ennis and you don’t have to turn anything green,” said Councillor Neylon.
Councillor Howard told the meeting that from her research, the green filters cost €12 each and can be cut in four, while bulbs are €16. “The cost factor is not an issue. It’s maximum impact for a minimum amount of money,” she said.