Dev’s Dodge to stay hidden

DEV’S Dodge, which returned to Ennis last June after being lovingly restored, is to remain under lock and key and away from public view, it emerged yesterday.

Last June the 1947 Dodge Plymouth arrived back in Ennis after a painstaking restoration project by independent member of Clare County Council, PJ Ryan.

On its arrival, Clare’s then mayor, Cllr Christy Curtin (Ind), was riding in the back seat and later made a call at the council’s June meeting that the car should be re-located to the foyer of the council’s headquarters in order to be more accessible to the public.

The Dodge transported two Irish presidents, including Éamon de Valera.

Bought as a state car for Sean T Ó Ceallaigh in 1947, it was sold to Mr de Valera in 1959 for an undisclosed sum when Mr Ó Ceallaigh stepped down from the Áras.

Yesterday, the Dodge was in a garage behind the Library Service’s Local Studies Centre in Ennis but not visible from the public road.

The Dodge has been there since 1988 and the restoration project was mounted after it sustained damage during the 2009 winter floods.

In a report to be put before the council’s September meeting next Monday, the executive is to rule out the car being relocated to the foyer of the council’s headquarters.

The decision is based on the car’s weight and structural capacity of the foyer area to bear the load, as well as and costs in bringing it in, which would necessitate the building’s doors being dismantled.

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