By Ronan Judge
ENNIS could be set for an employment boost after it was revealed that up to 20 new jobs are to be created in the town next month.
Private bus company Dublin Coach has been granted a license from the National Transport Authority to extend it’s service from Dublin Airport to include Ennis.
The company, which is owned by Clare businessman John O’Sullivan, had previously been refused a license to extend its daily Limerick/Dublin service to include Ennis.
However tonight’s meeting of Ennis Town Council heard the company has been successful in it’s application following submissions to the NTA from the local authority, councilors and local businesses.
In a letter to the Council in May, Mr O’Sullivan, stated the company was considering using Ennis as tourism “hub” due to the quality of bus parking facilities in the town centre.
Last year the Council spent €76,000 on new bus and coach parking spaces and facilities in the Friars Walk area of the town.
At tonight’s special meeting of the Council, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) told members that as many as 20 permanent jobs could be created in the town through Dublin Coach’s expansion into Ennis.
Cllr Flynn told the meeting Mr O’Sullivan sees Ennis as a potential tourism hub from which to base bus tour services to Clare and the West of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations.
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Flynn said the company intends to work closely with local businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector as part of the new service.
In his letter to the Council in May, Mr O’Sullivan, a native of Kilrush, indicated the service could boost tourist numbers in the town.
“Currently we operate a coach service every hour in both directions between Limerick and Dublin. Having viewed your facility (coach park) we believe there is real merit in extending this service to Ennis. This could translate into 16 departures and arrivals each day from your coach park to Dublin and Dublin Airport. This provides a real opportunity to attract tourists from Dublin to Ennis with such high frequency, low cost fast and comfortable connections,” he wrote.
It is estimated that a further 40 jobs could be created next year while Ennis is thought to have beat off competition from Tralee to secure the Dublin Coach service.