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A smartphone application that uses GPS technology and Google Maps to guide tourists around the Heritage Trails of Ennis has gone live for the first time today.
The “Ennis Walking Trails” app provides detailed information and photographs for 56 points of interest along 5 walking routes around the Clare County Capital town. Amongst the well known heritage attractions profiled in the app are Ennis Friary, Chapel Lane, Poor Clares Monastery, Ennis Courthouse, Bindon Street, O’Connell Monument, Steeles Rock, and the Cathedral of St’s Peter and Paul.
The walking routes, which are also highlighted by colour-coded signage and on 41 associated Interpretation Boards around the town, range from 1-3 km and take 35-80 mins to complete. The app also includes audio information relating to 13 points of interest in the ‘People & Places’ route.
The launch of the app coincides with the 400th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to Ennis. While established in the 13th century when the O’Brien’s of Thomond built an Abbey on the banks of the River Fergus, Ennis was only granted a charter by King James I and named a borough with its own seal in 1613.
Welcoming the launch of the app, Mayor of Ennis Cllr Peter Considine said: “As one of the largest towns in the country, Ennis has a diverse and interesting history and has been the natural home for many great political and other leaders and events. It is important that we appreciate our past and take pride in sharing our heritage with others. The unique streetscape in Ennis provides the perfect backdrop to these five walking routes.”
Commenting on the app, Leonard Cleary, Ennis Town Clerk explained: “Apart from the provision of text and photographs this app provides the user with an interactive mapping facility. This provides site locations, in real-time, with route planning and site distances which the visitor will find beneficial when visiting or planning to visit any of these trails. The audio option included in 13 of the points of interest in the “People & Places” route on the app provides an additional dimension and enhances the visitor experience and allows for a greater appreciation of both the people and the town of Ennis.”
 This phone app is an Ennis Town Council project, in conjunction with Clare Co Council Heritage and Conservation Offices and supported by funding from the Heritage Council. The Council says it will shortly be making available an accompanying booklet, including maps.
Developed for Ennis Town Council by Ennis-based Acton BV, the app can be downloaded for free from iTunes and Google Play (search for ‘Ennis Trails’).