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Tag Archives: O’Connell Square

Ennis councillors rail against barrier around monument

ENNIS councillors have voted overwhelmingly against a proposal to examine the potential of installing wrought iron railings around the O’Connell Monument. The idea was put forward by Councillor Johnny Flynn who pointed to the historic location being “used as a public toilet” along with “very disturbing” amounts of rubbish and passersby being “jeered and leered at” by people congregating in the area. The proposal was made at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District where his fellow councillors rejected the idea voting six against with Councillor Flynn’s the only vote in favour. Making the case for a public consultation process to begin Councillor Flynn stated that the area known locally as the Height had historically been surrounded with wrought iron railings. He said that re-installing suitable railings would complement and enhance improvement works for the Square and Bank Place and the conservation works currently underway on the monument. It would also complement proposals incorporated into the current Part 8 …

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€4m funding boost announced for Clare county town

CLARE County Council has been granted a sum of just over €4 million towards the Ennis Town Centre Public Realm Regeneration project, writes Owen Ryan. Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien announced that Ennis was among the successful applicants under the State’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), which is intended to drive regeneration and rejuvenation of strategic and under-utilised areas in cities and large towns. In Ennis it will see works at O’Connell Square, High Street, Bank Place, Barrack Street and Old Barrack Square, with an overall cost of €5,390,391. The URDF funding comes to €4,042,793 with Clare County Council financing the remainder. In O’Connell Square, High Street and Bank Place there will be civic space and public realm enhancements including traffic calming, resurfacing, provision of upgraded street furniture and planting. The Barrack Street and Barrack Square area will see traffic calming, planting of street trees, public artwork, the provision of distinctive street furniture and lighting …

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Flagship store comes to market

A LANDMARK building in the heart of Ennis has come onto the market, with a price tag of €2.25 million. The flagship store in the Carraig Donn Group on O’Connell Square has been put up for sale as a retail investment, with the existing occupier’s lease running until 2026. The tenant is not affected by the sale. Paddy Darmody of selling agents, Sherry FitzGerald McMahon, Ennis, is expecting a lot of interest in the property. “It’s a landmark building, with a tenant who has 38 other shops in the country, with plans to open three more this year and a strong online presence. With a current annual rental income of €155,000, the sale of this property offers the superb opportunity of acquiring a prime, easily managed retail investment, at a time when returns from cash and other investment vehicles are at an all-time low,” he said. Mr Darmody pointed out that the building is situated in a prime location in …

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Finding comfort at nativity at the Height

THE spirit of Christmas is set to be brought out onto the streets of Ennis in a very special way this week. On Christmas Eve, a nativity scene crib will be set up at O’Connell Square, highlighting the spiritual meaning of the holiday season to passersby on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. This is the second year that the crib has been installed at the prominent Ennis location. The crib will be in place from 2pm to 4.30pm on Thursday. As well as the nativity scene, there will be festive music from the Wylde Roses choir and the Clarecastle Youth Choir, and some mince pies on the day. Ennis priest Fr Ger Fitzgerald who is behind the endeavour explained, “The whole idea behind the crib is to show people another side of the church, in that the church is not just four walls. It is a part of life, the church wants to identify with people’s …

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No campaign have their say in Ennis

THERE were no shocks, anaphylactic or otherwise when the No campaign roadshow in the same sex referendum rolled into Ennis on Thursday lunchtime. Paddy Manning, barely over the shock of a potentially fatal egg-throwing incident in Navan on Wednesday, is a gay man campaigning for a No vote. He told the small gathering in O’Connell Square, “I’m gay and voting No in the referendum because I believe that equality for children should come first”. He admitted to still being in shock at the Navan incident where a 10-year-old schoolgirl, Muireann De Clár, who is severely allergic to eggs, was sitting on the side of an advertising truck bearing a No campaign ad when at least one youth started throwing missiles, including eggs. The young girl had to be treated with an Anapen adrenaline injector as she suffered a severe allergic reaction, which caused a rash to quickly spread across her face, neck and shoulder. “We’ve been in 12 or 14 towns in the …

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Protecting freedom of speech

AN Iranian author whose family fled from persecution before settling in Ennis seven years ago, will be giving away ‘Je Suis Charlie’ t-shirts near the O’Connell Monument from 12 to 1pm this Saturday. The move is in response to the heinous murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine and their police protectors in Paris on January 7. Friends Hassan Faramarz and Kevin Quinlan, who are passionate in their desire to protect freedom of speech, which they believe is under threat, had hoped to sell the t-shirts cheaply to recover their costs but, without a licence, they have decided to give them away and to hope for donations. The friends will, “make a little bit of noise, hang around and make fools of ourselves”, while waving a larger than life pen inscribed with the words, ‘Ink not Blood’, said Kevin. For both men though, this is a deadly serious matter. “I come from Iran and I have already lost a …

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Ennis plan maps opportunities for the future

OPPORTUNITY knocks for Ennis, with 19 potential development sites identified in the Draft Ennis and Environs Local Area Plan 2015-2021. The draft plan, revealed by Clare County Council this week, comes 65 years after the first town plan for Munster’s largest town was prepared by renowned architect and town planner, Frank Gibney. The draft contains rejuvenation, development and expansion proposals for Ennis and identifies 19 key opportunity sites to reverse decline, provide new shops and services for residents and create employment. Among the opportunity sites identified are the Garraunakilla covered market – due to be completed at the end of this year or early in 2016; the development of the former Boys National School on the Kilrush Road, where retail development of 3,000 square metres is envisaged; pedestrian-friendly areas, to include Barrack Street Square, old Barrack Street and a rejuvenation of a pedestrian-friendly O’Connell Monument area. The draft plan sees the old Analogue building and adjoining infill site presenting an …

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Crocodiles, cooks and circus stars in Ennis

This year’s Ennis Street Festival line-up is branching out in new directions, as it introduces Ennis Sounds Good, a parallel music festival, and offers the public a modern take on dancing at the crossroads. The festival takes place from July 4 to 6 and this year’s latest addition, Ennis Sounds Good, will mean the fun and spectacle of Ennis Street Festival continues. With 36 gigs across 15 venues, it is sure to be a success. Highlights include Mikey and the Scallywags, Drizzle, Skazz, The O’Malleys, DJ Will Softly, Keith McDonald, Buck Tailor, La Orquestra Kalamares, blues, folk, ska, salsa, world music, Spanish music, trad and more, culminating in a big festival music finale on Sunday, July 6. One of the other new elements to this year’s festival is a 21st-century interpretation of the traditional custom of dancing at the crossroads. Through participation in modern art forms and dance, dancing at the crossroads will take place in O’Connell Square with the Ennis …

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