Published on March 3, 2014
ENNIS CO CLARE By Jane Hillery
COUNTRY: PROVINCE: COUNTY: ELEVATION: POPULATION: IRELAND MUNSTER CLARE 3M 25,360
Ennis is situated on the River Fergus just north of where it flows into the Shannon Estuary. It lies north of Limerick and south of Galway. The town takes its name from “Inis” meaning an island which was formed between two streams of the River Fergus and on which the foundations of the Franciscan Abbey were laid.
HISTORY The past of Ennis is greatly associated with the O Brien family. During the 12th century the O Briens who were Kings of Thomond, left their seat of power in Limerick and built a royal residence on the then island. During 1240 King Donnchadh O Brien ordered the construction of an extensive church grounds which he later donated to the recently arrived monks the followers of St. Francis. Clare became a county under rule of Elizabeth I and Ennis was chosen as its capital because of its central location and because of the great influence of the Earls of Thomond. Ennis got a grant to hold fairs and markets in 1810.
THE TOWN CENTRE The town centre consists of medieval narrow streets and lane ways which are overshadowed by simple elegant structures built over the last 100 years. One of the main streets Parnell Street has been pedestrianized, while the others O Connell Street, Bindon Street and Abbey Street have a one way traffic system.
ENNIS CATHEDRAL The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is situated on the fringe of the old town centre.
CULTURE Ennis is a stronghold of traditional music with many musicians living here and regularly play locally The Ennis Book Club Festival in association with Clare County Library runs annually on the first weekend in March. Glor theatre is a concert and event venue located in the town.
SPORTS AND LEISURE Cusack Park is the main county Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) playing ground, it is situated in the town centre. Ennis has numerous sports clubs (Soccer, GAA, Rugby) that play in various leagues from schoolboys to senior. There are many sports facilities in Ennis, Lees Road, The Fair Green, which also has a childrens playground. Ennis Leisure Centre has a fully equipped gym with 25m pool.
TIDY TOWN In 2012 and 2013 Ennis won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in the Large Urban Centre Category,
We should all be proud of our home Ennis our County Town.
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