'A fabulous photo collage of South Tipperary' is how a new book from The Nationalist was described at it's launch on Wednesday night.
YesterYears - A photographic trip down memory lane in Tipperary' is over 160 glossy pages of photographs that all appeared in The Nationalist in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Launching the book, at the Clonmel Park Hotel, Chairperson of Tipperary County Council, Siobhan Ambrose, said she had her copy for just an hour but could see it was "a fabulous picture collage of South Tipperary."
Cllr Ambrose said: "It is a reminder to us of how times have changed, not just hair styles and clothes but also places and it is great for people like me, who don’t remember some of the places to see them and keep them alive."
She said: "Its important it’s a history book as well - in this I see the Liam McCarthy Cup at Kickham Barracks in 1991, the Main Guard before it was restored. Different places that hold a place in peoples lives, and different characters. A pic of the first ATM on O’Connell Street, lovely pics of children just playing."
The County Council chairperson paid a special tribute to Jeddy Walsh of The Nationalist who put the book together. "It's difficult in 380 photographs to culminate South Tipperary but he has done it well. What you got done in 380 pics is tremendous because so much has happened."
Also at the launch was Cllr Andy Moloney, Mayor of the Clonmel Cahir Borough District.
"I am delighted to be here as mayor but also in a personal capacity because The Nationalist has a long association with our house. I have fond memories of it arriving on a Friday morning, and sometimes coming back from the dogs on a Thursday night we’d drop in to see was it was ready. There’s nothing like the smell of newsprint.
"I know the Nationalist has gone through challenging times with social media and apps but it has stood the test of time and I hope it will be able to withstand the times ahead," the mayor said. A local newspaper can’t be replaced for local information, be it births, deaths or marriages, he said, going on to say it's just as important for local people away from home - including his sister who read the paper cover to cover every week when she was living in Hokaido in Japan.
Mayor Moloney thanked the many correspondents The Nationalist has had over the years who contribute so much to the news.
Editor of The Nationalist, Michael Heverin, told the crowd of contributors, advertisers, staff and friends who had gathered for the launch that "nostalgia never goes out of date. That is something we are celebrating here today."
Pointing out that all the prints in YesterYears have appeared in the paper, Mr Heverin said if people did not see themselves in it then they would recognise someone in it.
"It won't be as easy to do this job in years to come, the way photos are now saved on hard drives and memory sticks. We are priviledged that our photographic files were meticulously saved by John Casey, who collected them, dated them and put them away in a box every week when the paper had gone to print. It was a labour of love for John when he did it and now we are able to do this
"We are indebted to Jeddy Walsh without whom this book wouldn’t have been possible. Jeddy has become our unofficial archivist in the paper the man with the talents to do this publication. It wasn’t an easy job; he sourced the photographs and got captions. It's an amazing piece of work and it has turned into a wonderful production.
"Advertising is a huge element of our business. Many of our advertisers are here tonight, thank you sincerely for your support in good times and bad. You have always been loyal to us, thank you for that."
Mr Heverin paid tribute to the paper's advertising staff, the contact between the paper and our advertisers, led by commerical manager Celine Kennedy.
YesterYears is part of a group-wide project in Iconic newspapers and all the newspapers in the group have their own way of doing it. The Nationalist, he said, to borrow a phrase from former Cllr Ted Boyle, who attended the launch, put the focus on ‘rare Clonmel’ and other places in the county
"If a picture paints a thousand words then we have a veritable 'War and Peace' in pictures here," The Nationalist editor said.
YesterYears will be on sale in shops across the county in the coming weeks, or can be purchased from The Nationalist office in Clonmel, at a price of just €10.