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Re-development of Clarecastle to create space for community

A PLANNED re-development of the centre of Clarecastle will see the creation of a safe environment for the community to come together, with people “accessing as a village rather than using it as a through road on a national route”.
Members of the Ennis Municipal District have given their backing to the Town and Village Renewal Scheme works planned for Clarecastle’s Main Street, the link between the village and motorway network.
The works involve improvements to existing footways and carraigeways, landscaping, drainage works and signing and roadmarking. According to the council, the objectives of the scheme are, “to provide a safe area for pedestrians and other vulnerable users to walk; to provide a safe route for vehicular traffic to travel through the village; to provide a safe environment for the community to come together.”
A report on the proposal was put before the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District where it was outlined that three submissions have been received in relation to the project.
Among the submissions was a query if parking could be increased. The council confirmed the loss of two spaces, for the provision of a safe and dry bus waiting area and a larger disabled parking space. “Notwithstanding the loss of the two parking spaces on safety grounds Clare County Council are continually reviewing the need for parking within Clarecastle and are looking at several options to increasing parking numbers near the town within the near future,” the report by Barry Conway, executive engineer, outlined.
He continued, “The progression of this UVR scheme will be of great benefit to the village of Clarecastle in terms of accessibility, safety and in generally improving the streetscape of the village and continue the good work already completed in the earlier phases of the scheme. In the three submissions made in response to the advertised works, all parties expressed a general welcoming for the project and the contents of their submissions focused on specific details of works rather than any objection to the project as a whole. I think the points raised in the submissions have been addressed.” He added that further engagement with stakeholders could be accommodated.
Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer told the Ennis councillors that the purpose of the plan is to convert the junction of the old N18 into “the centre of a village” with people moving around it as a village rather than as a through road.
Mayor of Ennis, and Clarecastle native, Councillor Paul Murphy welcomed the development and acknowledged the work of the council and Clarecastle Development Committee in progressing the redevelopment of the village. “I look forward to this being brought to fruition,” he said.
Councillor Johnny Flynn commented that the works will “enhance facilities and lead to a much improved quality of life for the people in the village.” Councillor Pat Daly stated that Clarecastle “is looking fabulous in recent times”.

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