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Use Market Building to aid reopening Ennis restaurants – Colleran Molloy

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*Ennis Market. Photograph: Martin Connolly

A stakeholder grouping is to examine the feasibility of utilising the Market Building in Ennis to compliment the takeaway offerings from restaurants in the county town.

Opened in September 2016 at a cost of €500,000, the Market Building in its brief history as been a source of frustration for traders and the public. Its primary function at present is serving as a car park with 27 spaces.

Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) put forward a potential new purpose for the building at the June meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. “As it will be a while before we will be back up and running and based on contributions received from the public, I would ask that the Market building be utilised as a community area with tables and chairs provided so that visitors to Ennis can avail of a coffee and a treat, purchased from our takeout restaurants, all the while practising social distancing”.

Suggestions like this are being reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Temporary Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan Stakeholders Group, senior executive officer, Leonore O’Neill confirmed. This is being done to “assess their effectiveness to ensure that the public can access Ennis safely during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Additional measures “including the use of public spaces and the market building will be examined by the group to evaluate their merit for Ennis as a whole, and to ensure they are responsive to the changing needs of Ennis town as it moves towards as a recovery,” O’Neill added.

Colleran Molloy expressed her hope that the temporary plans would be representative of all stakeholders in the town. She said she would leave the matter with “the robust group” to address. Cllr Ann Norton (IND) seconded the motion.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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