2013-03-04 15:27:45 - A new vision for the development of Munster’s largest town in the post recession era was unveiled in Ennis today as part of a ceremony marking the 400th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to Ennis.
‘Ennis 2020 - Planning Beyond Recession’ is based on a unique two-year engagement with the public carried out in partnership with Ennis Town Council and the University of Limerick (UL), and supported by Clare Active Citizenship Network.
Objectives identified by the local community include the expansion of existing academic links between the town and third level institutions in Limerick and Galway, the establishment of distinct town districts relating to gourmet, culture, and youth, the development of Ennis as Ireland’s first Carbon neutral town, and the provision of a large indoor sports recreational facility as well as a covered market area similar to Limerick’s Milk Market.
The vision also includes a recommendation from the community to establish a public Citizens Assembly
to develop a democratic charter to guide civic engagement in Ennis and to monitor the implementation of the Framework.
Mayor of Ennis, Cllr. Peter Considine today paid tribute to the local community and students from UL whom he said were “central to the development of the Framework”.
“Ennis has a proud economic, social, cultural and political history which is a legacy which we must protect, and build on to ensure that the Town of Ennis remains the capital of County Clare in terms of tourism, economic development, community engagement and active citizenship,” he added.
The Mayor continued: “UL students involved in the Practicum Programme have, over the past two years, recorded the views of Ennis residents, stakeholders, Councillors and policy makers on future visions for the town. The fruits of that painstaking work are now captured in this new model of civic engagement. This will guide all of us with an interest in, and love for, Ennis. The Ennis 2020 framework will continue the careful enhancement of our town and community over the coming decade.”
Speaking in Ennis today, Professor Don Barry, President of UL commented: “This experience allowed our students to observe and contribute to a live community consultation process, but more importantly it started students along their own paths of community service which we hope they will continue in the future. The Ennis 2020 Project should be regarded as a model for other Irish towns that aspire to build and improve their communities.”
Today’s launch coincides with the 400th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to Ennis. While established in the 13th century when the O’Brien’s of Thomond built an Abbey on the banks of the River Fergus, Ennis was only granted a charter by King James I and named a borough with its own seal in 1613.
Also on display at today’s ceremony in Ennis Civic Chamber was the original Seal presented to the Borough of Ennis as well as a newly restored Minute Book for the period 1874 to 1883. The Minute Book documents Ennis Town Commissioners’ first meeting as an Urban Sanitary Authority and gives an insight into the conditions endured by the inhabitants of the town in the late 19th century. Meanwhile, an actor dressed in period costume today re–created through a mini-drama piece the character of a Town Crier in Ennis from 400 years ago.
Copies of ‘Ennis 2020 - Planning Beyond Recession’ are available from the offices of Ennis Town Council, Waterpark House, Drumbiggle, Ennis, Co Clare, and by contacting 065-6828040. For more see www.ennis2020.ie.
Dunphy Public Relations