O'Connell Street

County Clare
Ennis, Ireland

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

Along with the two other main streets that branch off of Ennis' central O'Connell Square, O'Connell street bustles with activity at all hours.

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Why It Works

Cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians are all accommodated naturally. The well-cared-for street has everything from pubs and music halls to department stores and chemists, making it relevant day and night, for all ages and interests. Although the scale of the street is quite narrow, including the sidewalks, cars and walkers are treated well. Beautiful hanging plants adorn the lightposts, and cobblestoned crosswalks and intersections indicate where people will be crossing.

What Makes O'Connell Street a Great Place?

The scale of the downtown is easily walkable.

Although the scale of the street is quite narrow, including the sidewalks, cars and walkers are treated well, beautiful hanging plants adorn the lightposts and cobblestoned crosswalks and intersections indicate where people will be crossing.

The well-cared-for street has everything from pubs and music halls to department stores and chemists, making it relevant day and night, for all ages and interests. O'Connell Square, at the top of the street, is a natural gathering place.

History & Background

Ennis is a county seat with a growing population, estimated at approximately 20,000. One of the larger cities in Ireland, it is a cultural center as well, hosting serveral of Ireland's best-known traditional music festivals. Ennis blossomed as a market town in the late 1700s.

O'Connell Street and O'Connell Square honor Daniel O'Connor, an MP for Clare in the mid-1800s and pivotal Catholic politician and leader. A statue of O'Connell stands in the square, on the site of the old courthouse. The town was founded in 1208 by the O'Briens, who built a castle on the edge of the modern town, which lies on the River Fergus. The O'Briens ruled until they vacated Ennis for Bunratty Castle.

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