FEARS that one of the town’s longstanding and most respected family run businesses would be closing to facilitate demolition and building works were allayed this week by the Madden family.
Demolition works commenced on site at Madden Furniture Shop on Station Road on Monday to facilitate the commencement of the final phase of the Ennis Inner Relief Road by Ennis Town Council.
The Maddens were served with a Compulsory Purchase Order by the then Ennis Urban District Council, for part of their land and premises, for the purpose of building a phase of the road.
Michelle Madden explained that the CPO relates to about one-third of their current premises as well as some of their land beside the building.
“Last week, preliminary work to demolish part of the building began and one section of the premises is being knocked this week.
“We have space behind the property, for which we got planning permission about three years ago to enable us to build a new wing to our business premises. That will replace what we have to currently demolish. We are undertaking the demolition and site clearance work ourselves and will hand Ennis Town Council over a greenfield site,” she explained.
They will be building a new section for the shop as soon as the demolition work is completed. “We will be building all the way back beside the main part of their premises and hope to use curved glass. Our plan is to have a front door onto the new road,” Aoife Madden confirmed.
Many of their loyal and longstanding customers were worried that Maddens would have to close to facilitate demolition and building works but the family confirmed that they will remain open for business throughout the works.
“People were also worried that parts of the building, particularly Paddy Con’s Hall, which was a dance hall for many years, would also be lost to the town.
“The main ballroom, the overhead balconies, the main entrance hall and the main staircase, which are all protected structures, are all remaining.
“This is very important to the people of Ennis because many people have very fond memories of Paddy Con’s Hall, so thank God it’s all remaining,” Michelle commented.
Maddens started business in their current location on Station Road 21 years ago last Monday – ironically on the very day that demolition work on part of the building commenced.
Maddens has been in business for over 30 years and were previously located in Sandfield for about 10 years.
Michelle also explained that Paddy Con’s Hall was opened as a ballroom in 1950, “on September 24, 1950, to be precise”. “The part of our property which is now being knocked would have been the cloakroom, the ladies’ and gents’ toilets, the supper room and an upstairs area in Paddy Con’s Hall.
“None of the actual dance hall is being knocked,” she said.
The family said that they are relieved that work is now underway.
They also feel that the new road, when it goes ahead, will be good for the town. “Businesses in Cathedral Court opened up about 10 years ago on the strength of the new road going ahead, so they will have new opportunities when the road is completed. It’s also very good news for people living in Ard na Greine, because a lot of cars drive through their estate, so this will alleviate that problem,” Aoife commented.
Ennis Town Council hopes that the last phase of the Ennis Inner Relief Road will be completed in 2011.