Muhammad Ali and Frankie Neylon during his visit to Ennis ,Co Clare ,where he was made Freeman of Ennis in 2009
Muhammad Ali and Frankie Neylon during his visit to Ennis ,Co Clare ,where he was made Freeman of Ennis in 2009

COUNCILLORS in Ennis will next month attempt for a third time to settle on a name for the town’s new €2.5 million inner relief road.
No decision was reached at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ennis Town Council on the naming of the road after three votes were taken on the matter.
The matter initially came before the December (2012) meeting but was adjourned to January.
Councillors were asked to choose from a list of 10 possible names – Bóthar an Sean Ghéibhinn (Old Bridewell Road), Phoenix Road, Gaol Road, Old Gaol Road, Braids Road, Muhammad Ali Road and Bóthar na Rince.
Three other suggestions – Slí an Fhionnuisce (Phoenix Way), Bóthar an Fhionnuisce (Phoenix Road) and Ard Fhionnuisce (Phoenix Height) were submitted by TJ Waters of the Ennis / Phoenix Twinning Board.
Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Peter Considine (FF) and councillors Mary Howard (FG) and Johnny Flynn (FG) proposed that the road be named in memory of Ennis’ twinning with Phoenix. Councillor Tommy Brennan (Ind) and Michael Guilfoyle (Ind) proposed ‘Old Gaol Road’.
Cllr Brennan told the meeting that the inner relief road passed through the former house of the last jailer in Ennis. Cllr Mary Coote Ryan (FG) supported this proposal, saying, “It is no harm for us to go back in history and explain reason why the jail was there. I think it sounds good.”
Cllr Frankie Neylon (Ind) said the road should be named after Muhammad Ali. He said the former world heavyweight boxing champion had brought thousands onto the street when he visited the town in 2009.
Cllr Neylon also suggested that the road be called ‘Bothar na Rince’ to mark its proximity to the site of the former Paddy Con’s dance hall. Cllr Paul O’Shea (Lab) also proposed Muhammad Ali Road. Cllr Brian Meaney said he would like to see the route named Paddy Con’s Road.
After Cllr Neylon agreed to withdraw his proposal for Muhammad Ali Road on the basis that the legendary sportsman had already been hounoured with a plaque in the Turnpike area of Ennis, votes were taken on three suggested names.
Cllrs Brennan, Coote Ryan, Guilfoyle and Neylon voted in favour of Old Gaol Road. Cllrs Considine, Howard, Flynn and O’Shea voted for Slí Na Fhionnuisce. Cllrs Flynn, Neylon and O’Shea voted for Bothar na Rince.
Councillors agreed to defer the decision for another month.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment. Contact Ronan on [email protected]

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