Ennis market building now 'a shooting gallery' for drug users, TD claims

Ennis Market Building Now 'A Shooting Gallery' For Drug Users, Td Claims
Michael McNamara made the comment at a Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC) where he asked 'was anything other than drugs ever sold from this building?'
Share this article

Gordon Deegan

A building intended to house licenced market traders in Ennis is today “a shooting gallery” for drug users, a TD has claimed.

Independent TD Michael McNamara made the comment at a Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC) where he asked “was anything other than drugs ever sold from this building?”


Clare County Council constructed the building in order to accommodate market traders, as part of a €1.75 million spend on public realm improvements. However, traders from Ennis’s weekly farmers’ market have never operated from the building and stage their market in the Roslevan area of Ennis.

At the meeting, Deputy McNamara said that the €1.75 million spend, which included the outlay on the market building, "is an outrageous sum of money to spend to destroy the fabric of an area which is now the scene of anti-social behaviour".

He said: "It is now a shooting gallery and shooting galleries were like something you would see in gritty New York."

He added: "There is no market there now. The market traders are gone.”


Mr McNamara said that the Comptroller and Auditor General was unable to investigate the spend as it was a local authority project.

He said: “There seems to be absolutely no accountability for this.”

Mr McNamara said: “I am aware that during the day and nighttime it is increasingly being used by persons congregating to use drugs and that is why the Council has decided to close it.”

He went on to describe the building as “a white elephant”.


He said: “The only thing it has to show for the €1.75 million spend is anti-social behaviour in Ennis. Maybe all of that can’t be landed at the council’s door.”

Mr McNamara added: “There are lavish spending proposals being bandied about for Ennis at the moment and I don’t see how they can advance until the spend on the Market is investigated and ensure that we don’t have a repeat.”

In a statement, Clare County Council confirmed that in very recent times, concerns were raised around public welfare issues at the Market building.

The council said in response: "The decision was made to temporarily close the building so that these concerns can be appropriately addressed and we are engaging with the relevant authorities. This has reduced the amount of available parking from 27 to 12".


The council said "the original aim of the project was to provide a covered space which would aid a process of regeneration of the market area, and add to the vitality of the area”

The council said the design sought to provide a balance between the existing character of the area, whilst having a modern multi-purpose structure that would facilitate a market and a car-park on non-trading days along with being a location to host community and festival events.

A spokesman said: “The building and public realm improvements were completed in full in August 2016 for the first Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Ennis."

He said: "Approximately two thirds of the costs of the project related to public realm enhancements in the vicinity, which improved pedestrian accessibility, junction arrangements and the safety of all road users.

He added: "In the more than 7 years since the building opened it has been used on numerous occasions for one off markets and by various community groups. Furthermore, it provides an income from car parking to the Council on an annual basis.”

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com