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Councillor Johnny Flynn

Walking works set for the off in Ennis

WORKS aimed at connecting parts of Ennis with walking trails are set to begin next year the Ennis Municipal District has confirmed. Funding totalling €950,000 has been secured by the council under the government’s Active Travel grant scheme.

The plans were detailed at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District where Councillor Johnny Flynn had sought an update on the Connecting and Co-Creating Ennis project which was undertaken in 2020 by the Intelligence Unit (IU) of the School of Architecture at UL.

The project was undertaken on the invitation of the Director of Service of the Ennis MD executive Carmel Kirby, in conjunction with the elected members. The councillor outlined that this project looked at Connecting, by re-joining parts of Ennis physically and socially and Co-Creating, getting citizens and visitors actively involved in the development of Ennis.

Councillor Flynn described the document as “a very important piece of work”.

The students and academics who worked on the project spent five weeks in the summer of 2020 operating from a studio at the old convent of the Chapel of the Sisters of Mercy.

The team researched and generated proposals for mobility and connection specifically addressing the town centre of Ennis. Their report described Ennis as an “exceptional town” putting forward a range of 5km and 2km walking routes.

He added that Ennis has become “car dominated” and he looked forward to seeing the results of the council’s survey on pedestrianisation which was launched earlier this year.

Responding to Councillor Flynn’s request for an update on the project, Leonore O’Neill, Senior Executive Officer stated, “Funding was secured under Active Travel measures to advance certain Level 1 works outlined in the ‘connecting’ objectives of the Connecting and Co-Creating Ennis document.

“These works will be undertaken in 2022. The co-creating element is being advanced through an number of agencies, in co-operation with Ennis Municipal District.”

She confirmed that €950,000 in funding has been secured under Active Travel with the works due to advance next year. She outlined the plans include a mix of footpath works, seating, pedestrian crossings and a “large body” of smaller scale works.

Councillor Flynn congratulated the council on the securing of funding to allow for the creation of ‘heart healthy’ walking routes in the town.

He added he was happy to see that the ‘heart’ shape of the old Ennis town boundary has been incorporated into the branding of the town. He concluded by expressing the hope that the works would result in “a lot more people” walking in Ennis.

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