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Memorial seating marking 30 years of Ennis Mental Health Association


MEMORIAL seating to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Ennis Mental Association is to be installed in the coming weeks in the Abbey Street Carpark.
Details of the plan were unveiled at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, where Councillor Mary Howard also urged the local authority to make it easier for people to commemorate their loved ones with suitable memorials in the town.
Councillor Howard outlined that she has been approached by a number of local people who would like to sponsor items such as seats and trees in memory of a loved one who has passed away. “It’s time we took responsibility for this,” she said. She continued, “I know we have a memorial committee, but it can be overly complicated. People want to put in place something to remember their loved ones.”
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Ann Norton a member of the memorial committee stated they are “working to ensure we are doing right by the whole of the county.”
The council’s memorial committee, which considers all requests and proposals for memorials, will meet before Christmas where a review of its purpose will be carried out and Councillor Howard’s proposal discussed, the meeting was told.
The issue was debated following a notice of motion by Councillor Howard questioning the removal of benches and litter bins from Abbey Street carpark. She stated that she had been approached by a number of constituents asking where the seats and bins had gone.
Eamon O’Dea, Senior Executive Engineer, responded, “The Ennis Mental Health Association successfully applied through the Clare County Council Memorial Committee for Memorial Seating on the seating area beside the River Fergus in Abbey Street Carpark to mark the 30th anniversary of their organisation’s existence. It was originally intended to have the seating in place by Mental Health Week on October 10 but due to lockdown delivery delays, the seating will not arrive until early December. The seating will comprise of one bench and three chairs. A plaque will be in place with a quote promoting mental health awareness. The litter bins will be re-instated and new line markings will be installed as soon as we can get the contractor on site.”
Councillor Howard welcomed the response, but added she would have preferred to see the benches left in place until the new ones were ready for installation.
She stressed the importance of having adequate public seating in the town, particularly for older people, those with illnesses and people with young children.
“They really appreciate being able to stop for a couple of minutes and catch their breath. I would like to see more of these seats throughout the town. The last 19 months have seen more people embrace outdoor spaces in a way they never had done before.”
The motion was seconded by Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy. Councillor Johnny Flynn stated that public spaces need to be developed in a way that people of varying ages and health can use. He agreed more seating is needed, adding that improved lighting would also be required to deter potential anti-social behaviour. Councillor Ann Norton commented that the Ennis Mental Health Association benches will be “an added bonus to the town.”
Councillor Howard then raised the issue of members of the public sponsoring memorials. Councillor Ann Norton, a member of the memorial committee, commented that they are “very active”. Chair of the committee, Councillor Colleran Molloy outlined that the committee was set up in 2017 to ensure a more standardised approach to all applications for memorials. She acknowledged the process can be time consuming. She added it was agreed to have a meeting to review the purpose of the committee which is expected to take place before Christmas and Councillor Howard’s proposal will be put before the meeting.
Councillor Flynn recalled that the committee had been put in place as there “had been a lot of solo runs around the county with plaques and street furniture without the agreement of the public and taking into consideration safety and standards. This was to ensure high quality.”

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