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Ennis Friary re-opens

Ennis Friary, the old Franciscan Friary on Abbey Street has now re-opened for the 2014 tourist season. And visitors to the historic site this Easter will have a chance to see the results of recent restoration works of the medieval ‘passion panels’. Last year saw a record number of both locals and foreign tourists visiting the heritage site. And so far this year there has already been an increase in visitor numbers since the Friary opened at the beginning of the month. The Office of Public Works, who manage the site, are encouraging local families as well as visitors to the town to go along during the Easter holidays to witness the ‘passion panels’ These panels were carved for a royal tomb built by the McMahon family in the 1400s and show in exquisite detail various scenes of story of Easter including Christ’s betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection. There has also been renewed local interest in the site due to the …

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LIT Ennis campus now recruiting

WHILE there have been strong calls for the development of a third level institute in Ennis, one establishment is already successfully operating a centre in the county capital providing third level education to the county’s mature students. Five years since its establishment the LIT Ennis Learning Centre continues to go from strength to strength. The centre from its campus in the heart of the county capital has been running the Higher Certificate in Business in Business Computing from Limerick Institute of Technology. September 2013 saw the fifth intake of students to the LIT Higher Certificate in Business in Business Computing and LIT Ennis Learning Centre is now recruiting for September 2014. This is a direct entry course and is available to mature students and those obtaining a minimum of 220 points in the Leaving Certificate or a full FETAC level 5 award, with equivalent points. The aim of the LIT Ennis Learning Centre is to widen participation in higher education. …

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Animal welfare this May Day

by Jessica Quinn AN Ennis based group of animal lovers are urging the people of the county to get behind a new awareness and fundraising day that they hope will go on to become an international event. On May 1, Clare will host the first ever ‘MayDay for Animals’. This awareness and fundraising day will see Clare people tying a balloon to their home or place of work to remember animals in need of rescuing, and to celebrate animals rescued. According to organisers, there is a real urgency now to communicate to people the cruel reality of what is going on for some animals in this county and country. In addition to this, they want to encourage people to think before they commit to getting a pet, as it is heart-breaking for a family pet to be suddenly removed from the family home and surrendered to the pound or worse, dumped miles from home. MayDay is about making people more …

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Invasion of the Vikings in Ennis

ENNIS has been invaded by Vikings. However, this time it is not gold these Vikings were after but knowledge of how to set up Family Learning classes. 24 Norwegians visited Clare Family Learning Project work last week with their ultimate goal to set up Family Learning programmes in their region in Norway similar to what is being done locally in Clare. While here, the group gained valuable ideas through visiting classes in action, meeting parents who have already attended classes, and meeting family learning tutors and the partners that Clare Family Learning Project work with. The visitors from Nedre Eiker Municipality in Norway included 11 adult education teachers, two primary school principals, three kindergarten teachers, the head of all schools and kindergartens in the region, a volunteer co-ordinator, a cultural leader, a pedagogical leader and others interested in the notion of family learning. Principal of the Adult Learning Centre in Nedre Eiker Elizabeth Engeset visited the Clare Family Learning Project …

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Three Ennis councillors to retire from politics

THREE of Ennis’ longest-serving public representatives will not be contesting this May’s local elections. Councillors Tommy Brennan, Peter Considine and Mary Coote Ryan are retiring from politics. Independent Councillor Brennan, a member of Ennis Town Council for 35 years and Clare County Council for 29 years, said he made the decision to bow out as a result of changes to local government. “Our function as councillors has been taken away and it’s pointless. It has completely changed. It started in about 2001 with Better Local Government and then the recent changes by Minister Hogan. It leaves the council with no function whatsoever,” he stated. He said the decision not to stand was not made lightly, particularly given the high level of support from the public over the years. “The people of Ennis have given me great support over the last 30 years and I thank them for that. I look forward to retiring and, if I can be of any …

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Home stays needed for 300 cyclists against suicide in Ennis

LOCALS are being asked to make a “wheel” effort in supporting the upcoming Cycle Against Suicide, by opening up their homes to 300 participants. The cycle will be making its way through Ennis on Saturday, May 3 and organisers need homestays for the cyclists who have taken on the challenge to raise suicide awareness. Fr Jerry Carey, who is working towards finding places for the participants, along with training to take part in the cycle himself, said he is “absolutely confident” that the generous people of Ennis will answer the call. He explained, “Cycle Against Suicide is a national initiative that was started by Irish entrepreneur, Jim Breen, as a result of his appearance on The Secret Millionaire. The main objective of the cycle is to raise awareness of the considerable help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. The cycle is more about promoting awareness than …

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From left, Saoirse Byrne as Annie, Maeve Plunkett as Chris, Rachael Culligan as Celia, Sandra Cox as Cora and Rita Brady as Jessie. Photograph by John Kelly

Good ‘nudes’ as €31,000 raised for charity

IT’S certainly good ‘nudes’ for four local charities following the amazing success of the Ennis Players production of Calendar Girls. A fantastic €31,000 has been raised over the play’s four-night run in Glór, with the amount expected to rise even further. Ennis Players are the donating proceeds to Cahercalla Hospice, Sláinte an Chláir Cancer Centre; the West Clare Mini Marathon Cancer Centre and the Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre in Ennis. [doptg id=”6″] According to Ennis Players, the show was such a success that they have not ruled out returning their 40th anniversary production to the stage.  Chairperson Jackie Scanlan said, “The cast and crew need a much-deserved break but, who knows, we might just look at running it for two nights in October or November. In the meantime, we will be concentrating on our annual supper theatre in The Old Ground Hotel. To those lucky enough to get tickets for the Calendar Girls, we thank you for your continued support …

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Almost time to pick a rose

EASTER Saturday, April 19, is the date that one lucky Banner lass will become the 2014 Clare Rose at a gala selection event in the Inn at Dromoland and it’s not too late to take part. The 2013 Clare Rose, Marie Donnellan, urged, “I have had the most wonderful year of my life and I would encourage women from across the county to fill-in an online entry form at www.roseoftralee.ie as soon as possible. I have made so many wonderful friends and enjoyed my travels to Belarus and New York City. The Clare Rose Selection event in itself is a life-changing experience while being selected to go forward to the Regional Festival in Portlaoise and ultimately the International Festival in Tralee were a bonus.” Deputy general manager of The Inn at Dromoland, Claire Coughlan, commented, “We are delighted to welcome the Clare Rose Centre to the hotel for the first time ever. It is a testament to the quality of …

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