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Works Set To Commence On €11.5m Ennis Public Realm Regeneration Project

13 September 2023

Works on the second phase of the Ennis Public Realm Regeneration Project are set to get underway this autumn.

Clare County Council has this week signed a contract with Shareridge Ltd to deliver an €11.5m upgrade to the streetscape of High Street, Bank Place, O’Connell Square, O’Connell Street, Old Barrack Street and Barrack Square. 

A funding allocation totalling €8,576,920 has been approved for the project which follows the successful delivery of significant public realm enhancements at Parnell Street and the Town Laneways and Bow-ways in 2020 and 2021. 

Barrack Square and Old Barrack Street will be developed as a ‘café quarter’ which is proposed to deliver a higher-quality civic space encouraging people to meet, relax and avail of local retail. O’Connell Square, High Street and O’Connell Street will become more attractive to pedestrians through the delivery of an expanded plaza incorporating seating and planting, an interactive public fountain and a removable marquee at ‘The Height’.

Funded under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) with 25% match funding from Clare County Council, the project will be delivered in phases to minimise disruption to local business and traffic flow through Ennis and is expected to be completed in late 2025.

Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Councillor Pat Daly, said, “Planning and consultation with the public and wider business community regarding this project has been ongoing for a number of years. The level of engagement and positive feedback received has been extremely positive and I look forward to this transformational project for Munster’s largest town having a positive impact on the Ennis economy, as well as making the town a more attractive location to visit and live.”

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said, “Developing an attractive town centre can contribute significantly to its competitiveness from a retail and economic growth perspective, and a prosperous and attractive county town benefits all of Clare.”

He added, “The benefits of an enhanced public realm are improved accessibility, increased pedestrian footfall, street activity and property value, and a longer stay by shoppers and visitors. This aligns to Town Centre First policy which recognises that successful settlements are characterised by an attractive public realm, including streets, spaces and parks, that is designed to invite people to meet, mingle and dwell.”

Part VIII planning permission has already been secured for all phases of the Ennis Public Realm Regeneration Project following an extensive period of public consultation. The upcoming works also coincide with major foul sewer rehabilitation works in the town centre by Uisce Éireann.

Carmel Kirby, Director of Economic Development and Ennis Municipal District (MD), noted that the primary goal of regenerating the public realm is to improve accessibility for pedestrians, provide an enhanced streetscape and to deliver two expanded, high-quality civic spaces with the overall aim of making the Town Centre experience more appealing and conducive for both retail and social purposes.

Ms Kirby continued, “An extensive public consultation process has been undertaken to inform the design and development of this scheme. The contribution of Elected Members of Ennis MD to the process also has been key to ensuring that a balance has been struck between the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, while the historic character of the town is retained commercial activity is supported.”

Siobhan McNulty, A/Director of Physical Development with Clare County Council, said the project’s advancement to construction stage has followed years of extensive planning and consultation with the business community, residents, public and Elected Members.

“The Project Management Office of Clare County Council, working closely with the Ennis Municipal District Office, looks forward to delivering this landmark project that builds on the successful public realm enhancements completed in Parnell Street and the Laneways and Bow-ways of the town,” she explained. “Following an extensive process of public consultation, stakeholder engagement, walkability audits with various disability groups and the Older Persons Council, we look forward to delivering significant public realm enhancements that will be befitting of a modern, accessible and attractive county town.”

Clare County Council has this week published a Road Closure Notice which can be viewed at 

Further details on the Ennis Public Realm Regeneration Project can be viewed at



(1): An artist’s impression of O’Connell Street following the completion of the Ennis Public Realm Regeneration Project.

(2): An artist’s impression of Cathedral Place and O’Connell Street following the completion of the Ennis Public Realm Regeneration Project.

Page last reviewed: 13/09/23

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