About CJAF

Clonmel Junction Arts Festival (CJAF) was founded in 2001 to celebrate touring theatre and live music.

20 years later it is the pre-eminent arts organisation in Clonmel, providing a platform for regional and national artists, the infrastructure to develop a body of professional arts workers in the town, and a hub for national and international artists to share space and ideas with a large urban town at the heart of a rural hinterland.

A multi-disciplinary Arts Festival, CJAF celebrates the town of Clonmel and the talented artists who live and work here. The ‘junction’ of the title refers to bringing people together: audiences and artists, local and international companies, town and country. 

For the 20th anniversary of the festival, we examine the theme of 'Identity (What's In A Name?)' through a range of projects with artists from Junction's past invited to work with Clonmel communities and arts orgs. If the arts hold a mirror up to society, who are we in 2021? And how have we changed?

Board of Directors

David Kirwan


David studied Fine Art at Waterford Institute of Technology and was a member of the steering committee which set up South Tipperary Arts Centre. Having worked as Production Manager for Portobello Frames in London from 1993-96, Masterpiece Pictures in Sydney Australia '96-98, David went on to set up Artisan Frames in Clonmel, as a Gallery style framer in 2000 where he now completes works for artists, galleries and collectors in Ireland.

Deirdre Grogan


Originally from Belfast Deirdre has lived in Clonmel for the last 20 years where she works for a pharmaceutical company. Both Deirdre’s father and brother were actors and her sister had an art gallery in Belfast: this has given her an active interest in both the visual and performing arts for many years. Deirdre has enjoyed many a memorable performance at the Junction Festival over the years and was delighted to join the Board in 2017.

Patricia Mathews


Originally from Abbeyleix, Co Laois, Patricia has lived and worked in Clonmel for more than 20 years. She worked in Bank of Ireland Business and Branch Banking, following which she moved in to work in Health & Safety. Patricia, and her Business Partner, set up their own Financial Consultancy & Health & Safety Consultancy in 2004. She holds a Financial Services Diploma, is a Graduate of BoI Business Banking Programme, has a Diploma in Safety, Health & Welfare at Work and is a Chartered Member of IOSH. She is a former President and current member of Clonmel Lions Club, and was a founding member and Chairperson of Clonmel Heartsaver Programme. She is interested in the Performing Arts and was on the Committee for the Fleadh when it was hosted in Clonmel.

Ricky Fitzgerald

Board Member

Owner of Curtains & Blinds since 1981, a former President of Clonmel Lion's Club, a member of the Tipperary Light Car and Motorcycle Club and a past President of Clonmel Chamber of Commerce, Ricky has sponsored and been a fan of the Festival since its inception. He is looking forward to bringing another successful Festival to the town in 2021.

Cecily Purcell

Board Member

Accepted on to the Board of Directors in February 2015, Cecily lives and works in Killurney, which is a townsland about 5km from Clonmel at the foot of Slievenamon. She has supported the Festival from its inception and still talks about the brilliant line-up of 2004 as the best ever. Her career as a Primary School educator has fostered and developed her interest in the Arts and encouraged her involvement with Community and National committees. Clonmel Junction Arts Festival combines those two interests perfectly and she enjoys fulfilling her role as a Board member.

Bess Hughes

Board Member

Bess ran a music venue for 20 years in Clonmel. She has always had a keen interest in the arts and has been an active member of the Board of Directors.

Professor Bill O’Gorman

Board Member

Bill O’Gorman arrived in Clonmel in 1981 to join Digital Equipment Corporation. Since then he has become embedded in the fabric of Clonmel and its environs, and is a former President of Clonmel Rugby Club. As Professor in Entrepreneurial Endeavour at Waterford Institute of Technology, he has been heavily involved in nurturing creativity and innovation within businesses in Ireland and across Europe. He is now looking forward to using these skills to support the development of the arts in Clonmel.

William Barrett

Board Member

Bill Barrett is a retired schoolwear retailer, with a long-time interest in and support of arts and artistic activities in the town. One of the founding members of Clonmel Film Society in the 1980s, Billy has a great interest in cinema and other visual art forms.

John Kennedy

Board Member

John has a BA in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design and is a practicing painter working from his studio in Clonmel. He is currently participating in a post graduate correspondence course in Painting and Professional Practice through Turps School in London. He also has a BA in Quality Management & Technology from IT Sligo and works as a Project Manager/Manufacturing Engineer at Abbott Vascular Clonmel. John is immersed in the visual arts and exhibits his work regularly through solo and group exhibitions around the country, and has also curated group exhibitions. His most recent exhibition was the group show Out Building at Source Arts Centre.

Paul Davey

Board Member

Early years were spent in Co Mayo prior to moving to London to complete his education. His professional career was spent in the financial services industry. He served in various roles including Regional Bank Manager, Head of Customer Service, Head of Operations & Strategy, and more recently, CEO of Clonmel Credit Union. Paul gained a MBA in Management, Chartered Banker status and was awarded a Fellowship with the Institute  of Bankers. A family person at heart, Paul’s other interests include Rotary, travel, and horticulture.

Áine Ryan

Board Member

Áine Ryan is a solicitor with Binchy Law Solicitors, Clonmel. Originally from Newport, Co. Tipperary, Áine has lived and worked in Clonmel for 25 years. Áine has a great interest in the Arts and particularly enjoys attending theatre and live music events. Áine joined the Board in 2020.

Festival Team

Artistic Director:
Cliona Maher
Marketing & Brand Manager:
Elizabeth Bartley
Social Media Manager:
Amy McMahon
Festival Development Officer:
Artist Liaison
Box Office Manager
Jenny Cox
Derek Harvey
Fintan Ryan
Festival podcasts:
Fergal O’Keeffe
Sound Engineer:
Eoin Barry
LX Technician:
Alan McCormack
AV Technician:
James O'Donovan
AV Technician:
Charlie Stewart-Liberty
AV Technician/designer:
Joey Maguire
Production Crew:
Eric Rosenfeld 
Music workshop coordinator:
Eoin Hally
Bookkeeper/box office:
Sarah Moloney
Volunteer coordinator:
Eamon O'Malley/Bill Barrett
Brochure graphic design:
Darren Powell
Graphic design support:
Calvin Cooke
Graphic design/photography intern:
Kevin O’Donnell
Administrative assistant:
Demelza Fraher
PR Consultant:
Digital Marketing Consultant:
Sandra Hennessy at BeDynamic
Website designer:
Sarah Loh at White Setter Design
Festival photographer:

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