Non-essential retail returned on Monday bringing with it a lift to businesses but also to the atmosphere of certain areas and the spirits of shoppers.

The further lifting of Level 5 restrictions as part of the Government’s ‘The Path Ahead’ reopening roadmap, issued guidance that permitted all remaining retail outlets to open from Monday last.

Hannah O’Neill and Carmel Haugh enjoyed the sun sprinkled streets of Ennis, dividing their time between Penney’s, Dunnes Stores and local pharmacies. “It’s nice to see people around the shops and to see them busy. We feel comfortable being out and about as long as we use hand sanitisers as we go along. It’s nice to be able to go out and get your bits,” Carmel stated.

Fresh from a day’s filming as an extra for the second series of RTÉ drama Smother which is shot in North and West Clare, Ann Marie Normoyle was on a further high as she sampled the offering of stores in person. “I’ve been a bit of a film star for the day in Lahinch and Ennistymon. I’ve been visiting shops all day and I love it. There’s a great atmosphere, the sun is shining, and everyone is smiling,” the Darragh resident expressed.

Business owners throughout the town also shared in the delight, as Deirdre Creamer of Sew Sew Alterations at 34 Lower Market Street Ennis lauded the atmosphere around the town and the “peace of mind” for business owners who have had their doors shut for the last few months.

Similar sentiments were shared across the street by high-street style fashion outlet Cornucopia owner Sinead Pyne who commented on the joy of reconnecting with familiar faces. “It’s great to be finally getting light at the end of the tunnel, we are nearly there,” she stated.

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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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