*Photograph: John Mangan
A Clare TD is calling for city status to be granted for Ennis.
Deputy Cathal Crowe (FF) has expressed the view that city status should be progressed for the county town. Referring to the upcoming Ennis 2040 Plan produced by Clare County Council, he felt there was a strong vision for the town for the next two decades.
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin (FF) is to launch the strategy when current COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
In a statement to The Clare Echo, Deputy Crowe put forward his argument why Ennis should be deemed a city. “Ennis has a population of 25,000 and is the largest population centre in the west and south of Ireland not to have city status. In the past two years, Sligo – a town of 19,000 – was granted city status. Ennis is a major population centre and whilst it may lag behind the likes of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway in terms of size and scale, it certainly has a lot of other attributes that would make it an ideal focal point for strategic regional development for the Midwest corridor.
“It’s in close proximity to a motorway, we’ve an international airport a stone’s throw away, the deepest seaport in Ireland is just down the road and from next September, it will be a university town when LIT is elevated to university status. Traditionally, cities were classes as densely populated areas with a university and a cathedral and that’s exactly what Ennis will have in less than 12 months’ time,” Crowe added.
Talks are ongoing with the National Transport Authority regarding an “orbital bus route” in Ennis which the Meelick native labelled as “key to ensure that there’s adequate public transport to serve both those living here and the huge amount of visitors that come to Ennis each year”.
Crowe concluded, “I‘m very excited for what the future holds for Ennis and as a TD for the county, I’ll be using every opportunity I have to ensure that the town receives this elevated city status and all of the positive attributes that comes with that”.