*Photograph: John O’Neill

ABBEY STREET’s importance as a civic space in the heart of Ennis will be highlighted this weekend for the St Patrick’s Day parade.

Advice from Gardaí and emergency services will see this year’s parade in Ennis routed through Abbey Street car park rather than Abbey Street and O’Connell square.

Senior executive officer in the Ennis Municipal District, Seán Lenihan explained, “Plans remain unchanged otherwise with superb music to be provide by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann on the Stage (Truck) in Abbey Street Carpark from 10.15am. That Stage will then be used as the Viewing Platform during the Parade which commences at the Council Offices on New Road at 11am. From there, the Parade will proceed via New Road, Newbridge Road, Club Bridge, Abbey Street carpark, Bank Place and Bindon Street”.

Singer Maura O’Connell will be the grand marshal for the Ennis parade with further entertainment being provided at the second stage located at Steeles Terrace by the Scoil Ui Ruairc school of Irish Dancing.

A delegation from Ennis’ twin town of Langenfeld in Germany will be special guests for the festivities. Mayor of Langenfeld, Frank Schneider, and members of the city administration and twinning committee will participate in the parade.

Details of the planned events for Ennis had been sought by Cllr Tom O’Callaghan (FF). “St Patrick’s Day is one of the nicest days of the year and we get to enjoy our Irishness. I am looking forward to seeing our civic space at Abbey Street looking its best, Comhaltas on stage will add to the event”.

He reiterated his call for shipping containers in the car park to be removed. “It is had been discussed before, the shipping containers within the car park, they were there during COVID and had a purpose”.

Speaking at a meeting of the Ennis MD, Cllr O’Callaghan commented, “It is the one day in the diary that we all enjoy, it is our badge of honour for being Irish. The concern is with the ongoing works, I am aware that some retailers are genuinely in crisis with regards to the income”.

Public-realm works will have a long-term benefit he acknowledged but he flagged that they are not due to be finished until 2025 so a big Patrick’s Day boost is needed for businesses that have experienced a significant drop in trade.

Fifty businesses on O’Connell Street have highlighted the impact of the street closures to the County Council, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) advised. He said the roadworks have resulted in one business losing €500 of stock taken from their shelves.

Mayor of the Ennis MD, Cllr Pat Daly (FF) said, “St Patrick’s Day in Ennis is always a great day. Parnell St they were disappointed for 12 months while the work was going on but look at it now it is a vibrant street and I’m sure O’Connell St will be the same in 12 months time”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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