BRENNAN’S Boulevard, Neylon’s Coal Run, Meaney’s Motorway and Flynn’s Flyover – just some of the more interesting names that have been put forward for the new Ennis Inner Relief Road.
The quirky suggestions to Ennis Town Council were made by well-known local man TJ Waters. He admitted to The Clare Champion this week that the would-be monikers were made very much with “tongue in cheek” over the festive season, following the submission of more serious proposed names on behalf of the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board. He is hopeful the council will eventually decide to name the new road in honour of Ennis’ twinning relationship with Phoenix.
His input in the naming process caused quite a stir at this week’s meeting of town councillors, who were due to decide on a name for the new route.
The proposed names are unlikely to ever be erected on a plaque at the road, having not made it to voting. However, their inclusion in the debate certainly raised more than a few smiles at the council meeting.
Mr Waters immortalised each member of the council in a list of names that also included Guilfoyle’s Glen, Coote’s Culvert, Considine’s Crossing, Howard’s Hollow and O’Shea’s Stopover.
“There was certainly no disrespect to our councillors and I was quite surprised to be part of the meeting. The Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board are very much supported by the town council and the councillors and they are always forthcoming,” he said.
Mr Waters also made three proposals for the naming of the road on behalf of the twinning committee. These proposals were Slí an Fhionnuisce (Phoenix Way), Bóthair an Fhionnuisce (Phoenix Road) or Ard an Fhionnuisce (Phoenix Height).
According to Mr Waters, more people need to make their views known on what they think the road should be named. He believes this is the ideal opportunity to honour the 25th anniversary of Ennis’ twinning relationship with Phoenix.
“Maybe this will highlight the naming situation and it will get more interest from the public. I believe there is an opportunity here for us to have an input in the name of the road and with Ennis celebrating 25 years of twinning with Phoenix, we put forward a number of suggestions that were made by members of the board. There is a genuine interest in the twinning board members that the Inner Relief Road be named in some way that recognises the twinning,” he said.
The Inner Relief Road is still without an official name as councillors failed to reach a decision after three votes this week.
At this week’s meeting, a number of possible names were presented. These included the six names put forward by councillors and the recommendation of the Placenames’ Committee: Bóthar an Sean Ghéibhinn (Old Bridewell Road); Phoenix Road; Gaol Road; Old Gaol Road; Braid’s Road; Muhammad Ali Road; Bóthar na Rince as well as the names suggested by Mr Waters.
Councillors Peter Considine, Mary Howard and Johnny Flynn voiced their support for naming the new road in honour of Ennis’ twinning relationship with Phoenix. According to Councillor Howard, “I believe we should be moving forward and not back and Ennis’ Phoenix twinning relationship is very important”.
Councillors Tommy Brennan, Michael Guilfoyle and Mary Coote Ryan were in favour of Old Gaol Road. According to Councillor Brennan, the new road passes through what was once the house of the last jailer in the town. Councillor Guilfoyle added, “I feel Ennis is seen as a historical town and I think we should hold onto whatever old names we have. If somebody asks about the road, there is a story behind this name.”
Councillor Coote Ryan added, “The name has great meaning because of the jail. A lot of people don’t know there was a jail there and it would be no harm to explain to people that there was a jail there.”
Councillor Frankie Neylon stated the road should be named after Muhammad Ali, or Bóthar na Rince in honour of Paddy Con’s. The suggestion of Muhammad Ali Road was supported by Councillor Paul O’Shea, while Councillor Brian Meaney commented he would like to see the road named after Paddy Con’s. He added that the proposed Irish translation of Phoenix, Fhionnuisce, was “unpronounceable”.
The proposal to name the road after Muhammad Ali was withdrawn as the boxer has already been honoured in the Turnpike. Votes were taken on the names Old Gaol Road, Slí an Fhionnuisce and Bothar na Rince. Councillors Brennan, Coote Ryan, Guilfoyle and Neylon voted in favour of Old Gaol Road; Councillors Considine, Flynn, Howard and O’Shea voted for Slí an Fhionnuisce, while Councillors Flynn, Neylon and O’Shea voted for Bóthar na Rince. It was decided to defer the decision to next month’s meeting of the council.