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Clonmel - Tipperary - B/W West Gate

old vintage photo

The walls were eventually breached, but Hugh Dubh O'Neill, the commander of the town's garrison, inflicted heavy losses on Cromwell's troops when they tried to storm the breach. However, the garrison in Clonmel surrendered the following day, as O'Neill's men were out of gun powder. The story is told that Cromwell discovered this when a silver bullet was discharged from the townspeople at his troops outside the walls. As a mark of respect, Cromwell donated his sword to the town which can be seen in Clonmel Town Hall to this day.

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Photo Details

  • County: Tipperary
  • Town: Clonmel
  • Scene: West Gate
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper, larger sizes also available
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black& white if preferred.
  • Read about Clonmel below

Clonmel

Clonmel (Cluain Meala in Irish) is the largest inland town in the south of Republic of Ireland. It is the county seat of South Tipperary County Council, however part of the townland is situated in the county of Waterford. It lies in a valley, surrounded by mountains and hills. The Comeragh Mountains are to the south, while east of the town is Slievenamon. The River Suir flows through the town. Notable residents include Simon Carroll.

Clonmel was built up significantly in medieval times, and many remainders of this past can be found in the town itself. A small section of the town walls, which once encircled Clonmel, remains in place. One of the former entry points into the town is now the site of the 'West Gate', a 19th century reconstruction of an older structure (there were originally three gates in the walled town: North, East and West - with the South being protected by the Suir and the Comeragh mountains). This gate is, today, an open arched entrance onto O' Connell street, the main street of the town. Oliver Cromwell, who is infamous in Ireland but respected in Britain, laid siege to Clonmel in May 1650 during his campaign in Ireland. The walls were eventually breached, but Hugh Dubh O'Neill, the commander of the town's garrison, inflicted heavy losses on Cromwell's troops when they tried to storm the breach. However, the garrison in Clonmel surrendered the following day, as O'Neill's men were out of gun powder. The story is told that Cromwell discovered this when a silver bullet was discharged from the townspeople at his troops outside the walls. As a mark of respect, Cromwell donated his sword to the town which can be seen in Clonmel Town Hall to this day.

The town has always been an important centre of trade and commerce. The river had been made navigable to Clonmel from 1760 when completion of the River Suir Navigation in the 19th century allowed large vessels to reach the town's quays. Charles Bianconi, onetime mayor of Clonmel, ran his pioneering public transport system of horse-drawn carriages from Clonmel. The Waterford and Limerick Railway opened a station in the town in 1848. Today, there are three trains daily to Waterford and three to Limerick Junction which has main-line connections to Dublin. In recent times Clonmel has become the home to many large multi-national companies, particularly in the medical area. The two biggest medical companies in the town are Abbott and Boston Scientific, which both manufacture implantable devices. Bulmers cider, also known as Magners outside of Ireland, is brewed in a complex three kilometers east of the town, and the extensive orchards serving the brewery can be seen when entering the town from the east.

Old St Mary's church is one of the main architectural features of the town. Like many churches in Ireland, it was originally constructed many hundreds of years ago (possibly in the 13th century or earlier) but has been reconstructed or renovated on numerous occasions. The church was fortified early in its history, the town being strategically important for first the Earls of Ormonde, and later the Earl of Kildare. Some fortified parts of the church were destroyed or damaged during the Cromwellian occupation.

The author of 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman', Laurence Sterne (1713-68) was born in the town, however his family returned to England soon after. Author Anthony Trollope also worked in the town for a period. The town has a strong musical tradition: one of Ireland's most famous tenors Frank Patterson was native to the town.

Clonmel has hosted the annual Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann on numerous occasions, the most recent being held in 1992, 1993, 1994, 2003 and 2004.