GARTH BROOKS for Ennis? That just might be a possibility as Clare County Council has been urged to investigate the potential for holding music festivals at the home of Clare GAA, Cusack Park in Ennis.
The Clare GAA owned grounds in the centre of Ennis emerged as one potential venue for large-scale music or community events in a submission on recreations and sports to the Ennis and Environs Development draft local area plan.
Clare County Council is currently drawing up the plan which will guide the development of Ennis from 2015 to 2021.
In his submission, Chair of the Ennis Municipal District Committee (MDC), Johnny Flynn, proposes the “development potential of Cusack Park for music festivals” be examined under the plan.
The submission states that Cusack Park could be the venue for a revived version of the “Lisdoonvarna Festival” – the iconic music event previously staged in North Clare.
The development of ‘Spoití Ceol’ (music public performance locations) and the drafting of a busking code are also contained in the submission. Cllr Flynn proposes that the Fairgreen or Tim Smythe Park, be designated as a public events centre.
The submission proposes the development of an international artist workshop at the old Garda barracks buildings and the “development of large arts spaces for Macnas type works over winter preparing for St Patrick’s Day and other parades”.
The submission also contains proposed changes and improvements along the River Fergus, Ballyalla Lake and the Lees Road sports and recreation facility.
Cllr Flynn has suggested the “creation of recreational boating in Ennis from the Post Office field to Knox’s Bridge to maintain minimum boating depth of water during summer and to deal with flow issues”.
For Ballyalla Lake, the submission proposes the designation of a physical connection from Lees Road to Ballyalla; the potential development of a European standard campervan site near Ballyalla Lake; playground and public toilet facilities; the repair of the old pier and the installation of a zip wire and a general physical activity centre at Ballyalla.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has previously warned that there is limited scope for development at Ballyalla due it’s designation as a wildlife sanctuary, special area of conservation and special protection area.
Cllr Flynn suggests that buoys be provided across the middle of the lake to protect the designation of the western side as an over-wintering bird and wildlife sanctuary.
He has also proposed the banning of outboard engines other than for approved public safety boats at particular events.

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