In 1986 Clonmel celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Bianconi, the immigrant Italian who became Mayor of the town and put 19th century Ireland on wheels by founding the country’s first private transport company, which had its headquarters at Hearns Hotel. As part of the overall celebrations a rock concert, Bianconi Rock, was held at Green Lane, Old Bridge on Sunday August 24th.
In 2011 Clonmel is once again celebrating Charles Bianconi’s birthday. This time it’s the 225th anniversary and once again it’s hoped that as part of the celebrations another concert – Bianconi Rocks 225 - will be held in the town.
It’s hoped to run the event over two nights, on Friday and Saturday, 23rd and 24th September. The venue on this occasion will be O’Keeffe’s in Parnell Street and all money raised will be divided between the Clonmel branch of Chernobyl Children’s Project International and the South Tipperary Carers Association.
As part of the overall musical celebrations it’s also hoped to stage a Bianconi 225 Street Rocks event showcasing young bands performing Under the Arches at the Main Guard, Clonmel, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 24th and 25th September.
Any bands, groups or solo acts interested in taking part in these events should contact Paddy or Paschal at the Premier Music Store in O’Connell Street, Clonmel (tel. 052-6129811) before August 31st.
The compere for the 1986 concert at the Old Bridge was the late Vincent Hanley, who was internationally-renowned as both a radio DJ and television personality. Vincent, son of the late Joan and Mick Hanley from Kickham Street, Clonmel, has often been credited with developing the now global music television phenomenon, as the presenter of the MT USA television programme.
Over a dozen acts signed up to take part in the 1986 concert including Cashel-based The Bleeding Poets; Clonmel-based Ken and Dom and Cahir-based Shock Treatment. Groups and solo acts from across South Tipperary took part and the headline act was Cahir band The Media, who at the time had just released their debut album. This release followed on from the significant chart success that they enjoyed with the singles Hey Desdemona, Give An Inch and Under The Tropical Moon. Overall the day was a great success and all acts gave their time free, and the money raised at the time went to charity.