Huge crowds enjoy Clonmel medieval festival and family fun day

A weekend packed full of fun activities marked national Heritage Week in Clonmel. The town's streets and car parks were transformed over the weekend bringing people onto the streets to observe and take part.

The family fun day in Kickham Barracks complemented the heritage events and proved a huge hit with families on Sunday afternoon.

Friday night kicked off with an illustrative talk on the town walls by Margaret Quinlan, local conservation architect, in the Main Guard. More than 100 people enjoying the talk which was followed by a walk around the surviving town walls in Old St Marys.

Mayor Siobhan Ambrose launched the Conservation Management Plan for the Town Walls on the night. The plan has been prepared by Margaret Quinlan on behalf of Clonmel Borough Council and funded by the Heritage Council.

Fethard's Anglo-Norman shields and bunting added a real splash of colour making the Gordon Street car park the perfect setting for an outdoor banquet on Saturday night. The evening was a sell out and diners were delighted with the Comeragh Lamb stew with herb dumplings and brown soda farls all washed down with Trasses Apple Juice.

There was no shortage of activities earlier on the Saturday with teenage art workshops held in the Museum and two talks on shop fronts. Barry O'Reilly, archaeologist with the National Monuments Service gave a talk on Clonmel Shop fronts and Damian Lizun, conservator in the County Museum spoke about the conservation process of Cooneys shop front which formerly was in the Main Guard.

Sunday saw the sun shine down for the best part of the day on Clonmel's Medieval Streets. Sarsfield Street was lined with trees for the day which was the brainchild of Richard Auler of South Tipp Heritage Forum. Tasty food stalls were dotted around the trees which gave the area a whole new look.

There was a craft fair in the Friary and a farmyard with animals entertaining children for hours on end. There was a novel butterfly trail in behind the Friary and children searched the garden for the various butterflies on display. Archaeologists helped people find out what historic sites are around their area while reenactors showed farming practices through the ages. Clonmel Allotments had a stall for the day and were encouraging people to grow their own. There were displays of many traditional crafts such as the farrier, silversmith, thatcher, willow weaving and butter making.

The medieval stocks proved popular with some children who took the opportunity to lock up their daddy and throw soggy sponges in place of rotten vegetables!

The Main Guard was once again transformed into a hive of activity with workshops for children making beeswax candles, clay bees and harvest knots.

The popular Place to Bee cafe was back in the Nest Shop raising awareness about bees, ladybirds and owls while gently introducing people to the term biodiversity.

Thanks is due to all those who took part and helped make the event a success and a fun day out especially those who donated their premises, equipment, furniture, time. The heritage events were funded by South Tipperary County Council, Clonmel Borough Council, The Heritage Council, South Tipperary County Museum and Notice Nature.

Hundreds of families flocked to Kickham Army Barracks in Clonmel on Sunday afternoon for the family fun day, held as part of Ss Peter and Paul's parish centenary celebrations. Families walking between both sites enjoyed the sense of festival from the Tipperary bunting, snapping in the breeze.

The barracks open day was a fantastic opportunity for families to hear army specialists explain how some of their mortar and long range guns work, and many kids eagerly posed with the heavy guns for mammy to take a photograph while daddy asked more questions of the soldiers in attendance.

Some children posed in the army gun vehicles and others with the fire engine.

A testament to the beautiful warm weather was the queue that snaked from the ice cream van.

Again younger family members were again delighted with the Shetland pony, goats and calves at one side of the parade ground and the bouncy castles and slides on the other side. There was a bucking bronco ride to try their skill at and local musicians added to the atmosphere.

Barbecue food, craft tents where children could try pottery, mug painting and bracelet making, and balloon animals all entertained.


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