*Cora McNulty (left) insisted the town must be protected. Photograph: Tom Micks
SAVE ENNIS TOWN are confident their show of “people power” can stop ambitious plans of the Ennis 2040 strategy from proceedings.
Launched in October 2021 by then Tánaiste Leo Varadkar (FG), the economic and spatial strategy aspires to make Ennis “one of the best places in the world to live, work and visit”.
Aspects of the strategy have caused controversy including the Ennis Data Centre with Save Ennis Town formed in response to plans to develop on car parks in Abbey Street and Harvey’s Quay.
Cora McNulty was among one of the main speakers at a meeting in The Temple Gate Hotel which led to the creation of Save Ennis Town.
Speaking to The Clare Echo at Tuesday’s silent march, she outlined, “we’ve a great mix of Ennis people, business people and a great group from the community, it is very important and it is the first of a few events we will plan. It is a very important march, we have to save our riverside car parks, save medieval Ennis and the destruction of our town”.
Such future events could include a rally on a Saturday, she said. “We know a Tuesday morning is an awkward day for people, it is a working day but the reason we’re going this morning is to present our petition to the Mayor of Ennis before the Ennis Municipal District meeting. We’re now walking through Abbey Street, a very historic part of the town, it is of the utmost importance that we protect our town, I’m a native of Ennis and a very proud Townie, I want to protect my town and that is why I’m so involved with this issue”.
Personnel involved in the Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company “are completely removed from what Ennis people want,” Cora claimed. “They have no idea what Ennis people want, they are completely out of touch from the feelings of the people, it is time for them to wake up and listen to us, there has been no consultation whatsoever, they don’t listen to the people, they have made all these decisions regardless of how we feel, it is unacceptable, today we’re showing some people power”.
Presenting a petition with over 3,500 signatures showed the support for their cause, Cora maintained. “Ní neart go cur le chéile. We have nearly 3,800 signatures, the petition is still open so people can still sign, there is a lot of people still who said they would love to be here but they said they had to go to their jobs, we know we have great support in the town, again I say ní neart go cur le chéile, there’s strength in unity”.
In 2015, Cora published a history on St Michael’s Villas. She is confident the march will force members of the DAC to pay attention to the group. “We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think that, we have to think that, we’re calling on them again to listen to us, we’re not anti-progress, we’re for progress, we love our town, we want a town that we can all live in, work in, shop in and park in, we feel they’re going to listen to us because they have to, the people have spoken”.
A spokesperson for Ennis 2040 DAC told The Clare Echo “comprehensive public consultation” will be held before any proposed development takes place. “The Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy is a long-term strategy for the future viability of Ennis. The Strategy seeks to safeguard, invest in and maximise Ennis’ strategic assets that are critical to its future growth. With this strategy, Clare County Council want to create a vibrant and thriving Ennis, where sustainable development, balanced economic growth, and a high quality of life are at the heart of its transformation as Ennis becomes Ireland’s first climate adaptive town”.