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Lifford businesses “left out of the loop” for lighting

BUSINESSES in Lifford are “feeling a bit left out of the loop” when it comes to lighting up the town centre at night. The Ennis Municipal District has installed festoon lights in the town as part of efforts to support outdoor dining and encouraging people to visit the town, however according to one local councillor parts of Ennis are “feeling forgotten about”.
Councillor Mary Howard, speaking at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, called on the local authority to reconsider hanging festoon lighting in the Lifford area. “The businesses in that area would appreciate the lights being installed for the summer months,” she said.
She said that Ennis is “looking so well” with the new lights adding, “The people in Lifford are feeling a bit left out of the loop.” She recalled how efforts were made a number of years ago to extend Christmas lighting into the Lifford area and questioned why this cannot be done again. “They are feeling a bit detached from the town, asking ‘what about us?’. They are rate payers al well who are trying to keep their businesses open. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem to do,” she said.
Supporting the motion, Councillor Johnny Flynn also praised the work that has been undertaken around Ennis to facilitate outdoor dining saying, “the festoon lighting looks amazing”. He pointed out how businesses in the Lifford area had come together previously to co-fund the installation of lights. He acknowledged the work of senior executive officer Eamon O’Dea in supporting the bringing of the electrical connection for the lights to Lifford. “It would be great if they could be reinstalled for the summer and autumn,” he said.
Councillor Pat Daly also voiced his support saying, “there are good pubs and restaurants in Lifford and the lights were a great success at Christmas”. Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy gave her backing to the move saying, “we should try and assist the Lifford area”. Responding to the motion, Leonore O’Neill, senior executive officer,stated, “I can advise that the lighting provided for the outdoor dining was facilitated through a grant from Failte Ireland. Unfortunately, the full value of the grant has been expended by Ennis Municipal District, and there is no further funding available at present to extend the lighting. If an alternative source of funding becomes available, we are happy to consider the request.”
Councillor Paul Murphy paid complements to Mr O’Dea and council staff for the work they have done in facilitating outdoor dining. “I’ve been to other towns of a similar size and they do not have what we have in Ennis,” he said.
Councillor Howard thanked her fellow councillors for their support, adding she has heard a number of visitors to the town on staycations complement how well Ennis is looking. “There is great work being done to ensure Ennis is a great staycation destination,” she said.
It was agreed that costings would be sought for the installation of lighting to see if the proposal can be realised.

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