*Photograph: John O’Neill

ENNIS BASKED IN THE GLORIOUS SUNSHINE on Saturday as it welcomed President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina to town.

A crowd of over 300 assembled in St Flannan’s College for a ceremony where President Higgins unveiled a plaque to honour Ennis’ achievement in being named as the country’s tidies town last year.

As he travelled from Samaritans’ Ennis branch on the Kilrush Rd, the entrance of St Flannan’s was lined by young people from multiple clubs and organisations. Sinead Mulqueen, Lauren Duffy, Caitlin Hanniffy, Roisin Duffy, Cailean Rynne and Conor O’Loughlin of the Irish Concertina Orchestra with Music Generation Clare added the sound to his entrance.

Director of Service with Clare County Council, Carmel Kirby was MC for the event. She said it was “a very proud day for Ennis” to welcome the President. “Your simple upbringing helped you become a President for all the people,” she stated.

Chairman of Ennis Tidy Towns, Cormac McCarthy described the event as “a shared celebration” promoting community and inclusivity. He commented, “We should be immensely proud of our volunteerism, of how in many respects we are leaders and innovators – often where Tidy Towns start, others follow”. Cormac added, “To the President and Mrs Higgins, you have created memories that will last a lifetime and for that we are eternally grateful”.

He quoted the Burren poet, John O’Donohue, ‘There is incredible power in a community of people who are together because they care, and who are motivated by the ideals of compassion and creativity’.

President Higgins was presented with a book of signed poetry by Kilnamona’s Doireann Ní Ghríofa, a bouquet of flowers made from recycled materials plus honey and bees wax to show the best of food producers in the county.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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