The inaugural Festival Cluain Meala came to a spectacular end on Sunday night.

The inaugural Festival Cluain Meala came to a spectacular end on Sunday night.

The festival concluded with busking and heritage events, which combined with the three-day Suir Valley Cycling race to form the festival, which ran from August 3-11.

More than 9,000 people visited on Sunday, the final day. This total included 3,965 who passed through the Judas Gate at the West Gate in Clonmel’s town centre.

This special gate was constructed by Anthony Lawless and the street theatre group Shellikybookie, which has announced that it’s to close, as part of its swansong.

A further 5,078 visitors were in the Gordon Street car park at some stage during the day for the Heritage Free Family Fun and Entertainment Day.

Other attractions in Clonmel over the weekend, including the annual Stonethrowers Rally and the start of the Fr. Colm O’Brien Memorial Cycle, ensured it was a bumper weekend for the town.

Festival Cluain Meala got off to a successful start on the Bank Holiday weekend with the Suir Valley cycling event, the overall winner of which was Sam Bennett from Carrick-on-Suir.

It continued with the busking festival, which offered music on the streets and free gigs in the pubs at night. In the past four years this event has raised more than €50,000 for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Then the heritage festival got into full swing last weekend.

The free concert for Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Old St. Mary’s Church was another success story, with the church filled to capacity. The concert featured the award-winning Banna Chluain Meala and colour guard and guest artistes Casey Tsai, Clonmel, Elaine and Dom, Clonmel, Brian O’Reilly, Cork and trad and Comhaltas groups with a very special guest artiste, 8 year-old Clodagh Kenna.

Congratulations and thanks are extended to the hard-working organisers and everyone who ensured that the event was so successful.