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Quality of Life

Working to build a healthier and caring community which is inclusive of everyone, regardless of their age or cultural background. 

Quality of life varies depending on people’s circumstances, but in general terms, reflects these elements:

– Material Living Conditions
– Natural & Living Environment
– Leisure & Social Interactions
– Education, Employment & Health
– Economic & Physical Safety
– Overall Life Satisfaction
– Governance & Basic Rights



Housing

Working to assist individuals and families  get a social house or transfer to a more suitable house . 

– “Taking in charge” of Ennis housing estates by the Council
– Call to build or purchase houses for social homes 
– Call for reuse of vacant Ennis dwellings
– Call for 15% reduction in 2019 Local Property Tax (LPT) 
– Homelessness service - Homeless Action Team (HAT) set up by Council 



Age Friendly

If we plan improved access to services and facilities for older citizens we for everyone. The Clare Age-Friendly Strategy addresses the urgent needs of the elderly in our community such as transport, health services, social outlet and housing.



Animal Welfare

Monitoring the facilities in the Clare Dog Shelter and working towards safeguarding animal welfare in Clare. Advocating for more focus and transparency within the management contracts of stray animals along with the investment in facilities has helped to change the outcome for unwanted dogs and horses in Clare. (Find out more here)



Local Community Development Committee 

Committee Member focused on community development planning and securing funding to support LEADER projects for Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP).


Local Development Achievements - Voluntary Work for 5 years

Click the image to view the CLDC Five Years Publication 2014

Click the image to view the CLDC Five Years Publication 2014

What is it?

As an active board member of Clare Local Development Company Cllr. Flynn strives to support, empower and enable local community led development through grants, training, mentoring etc whether it is initiated by the local community or local based enterprises. A total of 25 voluntary board members, volunteers on sub committees and 53 dedicated staff are part of Clare Local Development Company. 

What does it mean to you?

Over the last 5 years a huge economic impact has been made through the work that Cllr. Flynn and his fellow board members have made in 15,000 hours of voluntary time:
Enterprises Supported - 722
Jobs Created - 517
People trained - 1,657
 

Clare Local Development Company which commenced its work in 2009, is a limited company with a voluntary Board of Directors from community and voluntary groups, social partners, environmental interests, local government and state bodies. This community-led Board decides how funding and scheme resources are used for the economic and social benefit of people and communities in Co. Clare. Over 15,000 hours of voluntary time was contributed to this work by Board members over the 5 year period.


Some real examples include Black Umbrella ProductionsBarry WrafterClare Job SupportObair Newmarket On FergusAtlantic AirVentureShannon Leisure Centre VitaminsHandcraftHurleys.comWilde Irish ChocolateKilkishen Cultural-CentreLoop Head Peninsula TourismNevsail Watersports,Airmid Natural Handmade Soap & GiftsWildkitchen, and many more...


Click images to enlarge



Recreation 

Advocating for investment in recreation facilities making Ennis a better place to live and visit by building a healthier community and reduce healthcare system demands:

– Chairman of the Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group since 2013
– Chair of the Rapid Area Playgrounds Committee 2004-2009 
– 10 years Development Committee for John O’Sullivan Park and Fairgreen
– Advocate for use of Rocky Road recreation and biodiversity


John O’Sullivan Park

John Sullivan Park is widely used by sports groups, families, nature enthusiasts and schools. Cllr Johnny Flynn led an active part in the initial development of this sport and recreation amenity, formerly known as Lee’s Road.


Ballyalla Lake Recreation Facility

Ballyalla Lake has become a place where residents can enjoy a stroll or swim with the work of Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group. This volunteer organisation with Cllr Johnny Flynn as the Chairman is leading a campaign for further investment to restore lifeguard services, public toilet facilities, playground items, sanding areas for children and repairing the old pier to allow more leisure activities.


Rocky Road Walking Trails

In 2016, the Council identified the Rocky Road as an area that could become a recreational amenity for the residents of Ennis. Cllr Johnny Flynn took an active part in campaigning for the purchase of this land to create a wildlife park and walks. He continues to advocate for funds to be for the  purchase of  this land for the people of Ennis to enjoy, particularly to serve the south and west of Ennis.


Ballyalla Lake Blue Flag Working Group

What is it?

Following an online petition which showed significant interest in developing the lake area, Cllr. Johnny Flynn arranged a meeting which was attended by nearly 50 persons from environmental, political, residents and other backgrounds. From this meeting, the Ballyalla Lake Working Group was formed to work with residents, the Council, Tidy Towns, and environmental groups to improve the access, quality and use of the amenity.

During the initial meeting, an overwhelming majority of votes for the following four points:

1. Setting up of a Working Group to work with others, particularly residents and Clare County Council, to sustainably develop the public lands around Ballyalla lake and pursue Blue Flag Status.

2. Ensure appropriate protection of the amenity and improve access & use of the lake.

3. Lobby local politicians in the context of the Ennis & Environs Plan review to get the Planning Authority to carry out an Enhanced Habitat Directive's Assessment (EHDA) of the Lake & surrounding lands and the stretch of Fergus river North & South of Ennis.

4. EHDA screening by the Planning Authority would then indicate to interested groups the appropriate location and type of Development of recreational amenities on the Lake & River.

Cllr Johnny Flynn Chair of the volunteer group said " this is great news for people who want to use the lake sustainably and obviously for the significant amount wildlife Ballyalla Lake homes. We got great assistance from a wide range of people over the last year for projects such as the cleanups and cutting back of scrub. The Council placed an increased emphasis on the lakeshore area last year when they worked with various groups to enhance it. "

What does it mean for you?

When the group formed, the lake had been removed from the list of Beaches in County Clare and facilities had fallen into disarray.

Several clean-ups and engagement of the town’s people and residents have made steps to bring the lake back to its former glory, resulting in an attractive town amenity for families to enjoy at their doorstep.

In late 2013, Ennis Town Council started some work on Ballyalla lake removing scrub to free pathways and open up ‘windows’ to allow better viewing of the lake from the shores and trails. These trails continue to be maintained by Ennis Town Council and clean-up days organised by the Blue Flag Working Group.

Once the area was accessible, work went underway to bring back the wildlife information sign detailing the 26 bird species to be found at Ballyalla. Since 2013, investment in installing benches, picnic areas with wheelchair accessibility and bins. Also, the Path to the old pier has been cleared and partly gravelled to extend the walk people can enjoy at the Lake.

One of the most significant achievements of the group was the award of the Green Flag in 2017 and 2018. The Green Coast Award acknowledges beaches with exceptional water quality and community-led plans that protect the natural environment. This prestigious award has recognised 59 beaches across Ireland in 2018, with 3 of these in County Clare, that excel in these areas but do not have the infrastructure to support Blue Flag status.

Cllr Johnny Flynn, Chairperson for the Ballyalla Lake Blue Flag Working Group, welcomed last week’s announcement, “We have been collaborating with residents, Clare County Council and the wider Ennis community to upgrade the facilities while protecting the environment and increasing the public use of this beautiful amenity. The combined efforts have allowed Ballyalla Lake to become a venue to host events such as Charity Raft Races, Ennis Triathlon Club’s annual iTri Triathlon, An Post Rás na mBan and Clare Kayak Hire Summer Camps and Kayak rental.”

Ballyalla Lake Facebook Page

Following a public meeting in April 2013 arranged by Cllr. Johnny Flynn at Auburn Lodge, Ennis, Co Clare which had a large attendance of nearly 50 persons from environmental, political, residents and other backgrounds, the Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group was formed in June and a chairperson, secretary and PRO were voted upon. In September of this year, same group organized a successful clean-up of the lake front supported by Ennis Tidy Towns and Ballyalla lake residents. 

During the initial meeting, an overwhelming majority of votes were cast for the following four points: 1. Setting up of a Working Group to work with others, particularly local residents and Clare County Council, to sustainably develop the public lands around Ballyalla lake and pursue Blue Flag Status. 2. Ensure appropriate protection of the amenity and improve access & use of the lake. 3. Lobby local politicians in the context of the Ennis & Environs Plan review to get the Planning Authority to carry out an Enhanced Habitat Directive's Assessment (EHDA) of the Lake & surrounding lands and the stretch of Fergus river North & South of Ennis. 4. EHDA screening by the Planning Authority would then indicate to interested groups the appropriate location and type of Development of recreational amenities on the Lake & River. 

The Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group has since discussed these points in more detail and worked toward a list of Short-term and Long-term list of suggestion that will be put forward to the County Council shortly. In the short-term up until the end of 2014, the group is recommending realistic goals for the visible upgrade of the lake frontage, use and access. This area ranges from the clean-up of access routes and views, the re-instatement of public toilets and playground areas, as well as the environmentally-important informational signs and the installation of buoys denoting wild-life areas on the lake. They are also recommending 2013 Winter Firewood project as fuel to low income Ennis households. The group asks the council to consider these items for their 2014 budget.

In late 2013, Ennis Town Council started some work on Ballyalla lake removing scrub to free pathways and open up ‘windows’ in an effort to allow better viewing of the lake from the shores and pathways. Also, work is underway to bring back informational nature signs to the lake. The work is supported by Ennis Tidy Towns and lake residents are always on hand to clean-up after any works.

The traditional Ennis bathing location Ballyalla Lake beach, one of Clare's 11 designated Beaches, has got the all clear for bathing quality of water for 2014. The Lake achieved the top category of "good water quality " based on samples taken in 2013 bathing season up from previous years grading of "Sufficient water quality " .

 The Ballyalla Lake Working Group was formed in 2013 to work with residents, the Council, Tidy Towns ,and environmental groups to improve the access , quality and use of the amenity . Cllr Johnny Flynn Chair of that group said " this is great news for people who want to use the lake in a sustainable way and obviously for the significant amount wildlife  Ballyalia Lake is home to. We got great assistance from a wide range of people  over the last year for projects such as the clean ups and cutting back  of scrub . The Council placed an  increased emphasis on the lakeshore area  last year when they worked with various groups to enhance it. "

At the May 2014 Ennis Town Council meeting there was wide support for the allocation of €25,765 specific funding  for Water Based Leisure Facilities at Ballyalia Lake. " I warmly  welcomed this funding which is to be spent in 2014 at Ballyalla Lake and also the specific funding of €22,697 also allocated for Rocky Road Amenity Scheme which will improve the usage of  this ancient public right of way to the West of Ennis near the New National School " Cllr Flynn added.

An information board detailing the 26 bird species to be found at Ballyalla Lake was reinstated in the new year after it was vandalised and fell into disrepair some years ago. Originally painted in 1994 as an acrylic on wood by Newmarket-on-Fergus based painter and bird watcher Philip Brennan. The work was supported by Ennis Tidy Towns.