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Ennis is the capital town situated in the centre of the county.
The 2006 census indicates that Ennis had a population of 24,253 making it the largest town in Munster and the sixth largest town in Ireland.
It is situated on the N18, midway between Limerick and Galway to the north.
Ennis is mainly a market town with a strong merchant history and later as a manufacturing and distributing centre.
The market square today is still home to Saturday markets through the year and with the rise in the town’s commercial retail sector in recent years, the market has shifted its traditional trading from agricultural produce to mainly textiles and home hardware.
The market has added a vibrant organic farming element over the previous years.
The Town Centre consists of medieval narrow streets and laneways, which are overshadowed by simple elegant structures built over the last millennium.
Of the main thoroughfares, Parnell Street has been pedestrianised, while the others, O’Connell Street, Bindon Street and Abbey Street are one way narrow streets that lead to regular traffic congestion.
Ennis Cathedral is situated he fringe of the old town centre.
The Old Ground Hotel is a 4-star hotel situated beside it.
Shopping is good but with a small selection of international brand in the centre.
A large retail park which is situated on the outskirts of Ennis helps make up for the lack of choice in the town centre.
The name Ennis comes from the Irish word “Inis”, which means an island formed between two courses of the River Fergus and on which the Franciscan Abbey was built.
The past of Ennis is greatly associated with the O’Brien family, who were descendants of Brian Boru.
The Town contains several old British military barracks, which were built over the centuries.
The Clare Road and Clonroad areas contain terraced cottages, built in the early 20th century to house soldiers.
On Station Road there once stood a prison.
Many Ennis men fought for the British Army during The First World War.
The River Fergus runs through the middle of Ennis, and is a well-known trout and salmon fishery.
At one time small sailing boats made their way up river from the Shannon and berthed in the centre of the town at Woodquay.
This area of the Town along with Parnell Street and Mill Road was routinely susceptible to flooding, until the Ennis main drainageThe Town Centre consists of medieval narrow streets and laneways, which are overshadowed by simple elegant structures built over the last 1000 years.
Of the main towns, Ennis serves as a major regional hub for County Clare.
Among its emergency services, it contains the Ennis Regional Hospital (serving the entire country), the HQ of the Clare Divisional Garda, the Clare Fire Brigade and Civil Defence.
Ennis also includes many relief organisations, such as The Samaratans, Clare Care and St.
Vincent De Paul.
Among its civil services, it contains Clare County Council, Ennis Town Council, Clare Revenue Commissionaires, as well as Social and Family affairs.
Ennis has always been a centre of excellence in Irish Traditional music, and hosts the Fleadh Nua in late May each year, the second largest traditional music festival in Ireland.