Rice College Students Set Out Their Vision for Ennis

April 29, 2024
  • New bus routes, eco-friendly bus shelters, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings sought to reduce carbon emissions
  • Students given a voice through Ennis 2040 D.A.C. education programme


Ennis, 29th April 2024: Transition Year students from Rice College presented their vision for Ennis in 2040 at Clare County Council last week.  Following months of research and action planning, Kelly McMahon, Sanjida Rahman, Ania Rog and Isabelle Keane delivered an inspiring presentation on behalf of their classmates to a panel of judges as part of the Ennis 2040 DAC education programme.

The students were tasked with developing a vision for Ennis in 2040 while considering sustainable practices, energy sources, accessibility and transport. Over several months, the students worked in class groups investigating how bus routes could be maximised, conducting surveys, monitoring traffic congestion and developing their final presentation.

According to their survey, 73% of students attending Rice College did not have access to a bus route to take them to school. So, the students devised two new bus routes to consolidate the transportation of 700+ students, thereby minimizing the number of cars on the road, leading to decreased traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions. They also investigated traffic volumes and active travel infrastructure within a 500m radius of their school. Of the eight key junctions they monitored, just one was deemed pedestrian friendly and none were safe for bikes or scooters. Finally, they requested ‘living roof’ bus shelters that would promote bio-diversity, absorb carbon and bring more greenery into the town.

During their presentation the students said, “Integrating sustainability practices such as the Bus Route and Sustainable Bus shelters into the school’s operations promotes a culture of awareness, responsibility, and forward-thinking. This collaborative effort between the school and the town not only benefits the immediate community but also sets an inspiring example for other institutions.”

Teacher Mr Malone said, “I would like to thank Ennis 2040 DAC for providing this opportunity. Their involvement serves as a powerful educational tool, providing the Transition Year and the wider school students with a real-world example of environmental responsibility and empowering them to be conscientious global citizens.”

Kevin Corrigan, COO, Ennis 2040 DAC and head judge, said “The overall goal of the programme is to facilitate a re-imagining of the town while empowering young people through engagement with their local authority.  As a cohort, they are rarely consulted on future visions of their society, but these current TY students will be the ones living, working and socialising in Ennis in 2040. We are delighted with how they seized this opportunity to get involved.”

A core focus of the Ennis 2040 TY programme is to encourage young people in Ennis to learn and engage with their local community and become participants in local democracy through active citizenship. It commenced with representatives from Clare County Council and Ennis 2040 providing introductory presentations in the schools.

The judging panel included Kevin Corrigan, COO, Ennis 2040, Mike Corey, Senior Executive Technician, Clare County Council, Conor McDonagh, Energy Agency Manager, Clare County Council and Sean O’Neill, Communications Director, TII.

The team will now go on to present their sustainability ideas and vision for Ennis in 2040 to the Ennis Municipal District Councillors in the Council Chamber on 7th May 2024.

In collaboration with Cllr. Clare Colleran Molloy the class will travel to Dáil Eireann to present their Vision for Ennis in 2040 to Oireachtas Members during May.