Situated on the banks of the River Suir, Clonmel has all the facilities that one would expect to find in a town of its size. It has always been regarded as the best shopping town in the South East of Ireland and great efforts have been made in recent years to preserve the character of the shop fronts in the town and restore them to their former styles. The town has a population of 17,000 within the borough, with an additional 5,000 in the surrounding area making Clonmel an expanding industrial town and a thriving commercial and business centre with many fine hotels, pubs, and guest houses.
The rolling Comeragh Mountains to the south and Slievenamon to the east provide a scenic backdrop to the town from almost every vantage point. The River Suir has been a major influence on the town’s development and the river route, historically used by barges to transport food and supplies between Clonmel and Waterford, can now be taken in by foot or bicycle as part of the Suir BlueWay. In the water, Clonmel hosts Ireland's first canoe slalom course and is home to the Irish Canoe Slalom Club Championships.
Although inhabited for about 5000 years, few traces of prehistoric Clonmel survive. The name Clonmel is derived from the townsland's Gaelic name of “Cluain Meala” which means the Meadow of Honey- most likely a reference to the fertile soils and scenic beauty of the area. Clonmel is a town with a rich medieval and modern historical past; the town walls date from the 13th century, with monies raised for their completion by Edward II in the 14th century. In 1650, these walls withstood a three week siege by English forces led by Oliver Cromwell during his notorious campaign across Ireland. Original sections of the old town walls can still be found with some of the best examples in the grounds of Old St. Mary's Church of Ireland, built in the 13th century and dedicated to Our Lady of Clonmel, and in the imposing West Gate in Irishtown at the heart of Clonmel- a medieval tower fortification, the West Gate was a focal point of defence during the siege of 1650. Opposite the West Gate, at the end of O’Connell Street, sits the beautifully restored Main Guard, built in 1674 as a Palatinate Court House. The birthplace of Olympian Dr. Pat O' Callaghan, and famed tenor Frank Patterson, Clonmel is also very
proud of its cultural and literary past; being also the birthplace of Laurence Sterne and Marguerite Power, Countess of Blessington, and the one time residence of Anthony Trollope. Former Mayor of Clonmel Charles Bianconi launched Ireland's first public transport system - the famous 'Bianconi Coaches' - from the town servicing a route between Clonmel and Cahir.There are many other interesting buildings including the Town Hall, Franciscan Friary, and Court House as well as former churches which have been tastefully converted to other uses including the old Wesleyan which is now the White Memorial Theatre. The jail gate, of the famous Gaol of Cluain Meala, still stands and has been tastefully incorporated into a contemporary public building. This jail was the first and only Borstal institution in Ireland.The idyllic grounds of St. Patrick’s Well, with its medieval church, ancient stone cross, dating from the 5th century, and bubbling springs are well worth a visit. Other places of interest in the town include the newly renovated Tipperary Museum of Hidden History in Mick Delahunty Square, South Tipperary Arts Centre on Nelson Street and Marlfield Lake's wild bird sanctuary.
The town of Clonmel is served by train and bus links to both local and national destinations.
Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) has daily rail links to both Waterford and Limerick Junction and from these stations you can continue your journey to various destinations. For timetables, journey planners and ticket purchases please see the Irish Rail website at www.irishrail.ie.
Bus Éireann offers connections to many parts of the country including Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Kilkenny and Waterford as well as serving local towns such as Cahir, Carrick-on-Suir and Clogheen. You can access their website, www.buseireann.ie, for the most up to date timetables and journey information.
JJ Kavanagh are an independent bus provider which serves Clonmel. For information on routes and to book, see https://jjkavanagh.ie/
Ireland’s Ancient East - Wander through Time in your own immersive journey of 5,000 years of European History
Ireland’s Ancient East is a unique touring region taking in an amazing 5,000 years of history in the East and South of Ireland. From passage tombs like Newgrange (older than the Egyptian pyramids) to Palladian Mansions like Powerscourt and Castletown; from Celtic and monastic sites to medieval castles and high crosses harking back to Early Christian Ireland, nowhere in Europe offers such a wealth of heritage in such an intimate geographical space.
Connecting the past and present, this is the perfect opportunity to have a personal journey of discovery in this relaxing, off the beaten track, lush, green, beautiful landscape that has attracted warring settlers for millennia. Meet the locals and get ready to have a memorable experience as they enthral you with stories of a time of contrasts, of empire, rebellion, innovation and industry, as well as local legends.
Walk around incredible monastic sites where Early Christians established flourishing communities. Stand inside castles battered by brutal sieges and bloody battles, and wander the gracious manor houses and delightful gardens of the aristocracy. You can do everything from boarding a replica Famine ship to following in the footsteps of Vikings and Normans. Explore a land of living culture which is celebrated in its craft, food, music and festivals. With some of the best storytellers in the world, the intrigue, romance and incredible tales of Ireland’s Ancient East are yours to discover.