The apple restored to rightful place at core of Clonmel's heritage

Apple Treasures

Members of the public were joined by members of the Suircan Community Forum and Grow It Yourself (GIY) for the apple orchard planting in Clonmel's Denis Burke Park.

The first planting session of four, which will see a number of apple trees celebrating Clonmel’s unique apple heritage being planted along the River Suir, was held recently.

Apple Treasures is a project aimed at highlighting the unique apple heritage of Clonmel and promoting the idea of edible apple trees being "present" in the community.

The project, led by the 2Cando Arts Collective in conjunction with Suircan Community Forum, took the form of a public participative "harvesting" process over three weeks in September to map, gather and bring apples, apple lore and history back to the centre of the town and restore its identity.

People were invited to contribute stories, proverbs, juicy facts, memories and reflections on the theme of apples.

This was followed by an apple-themed tree trail on Culture Night (22nd September) which brought the collaborative research process and artistic inquiry into the public realm and historical "core" of Clonmel – Dowd’s Lane, Parnell Street, Mitchel Street and Abbey Street - where  the decorated trees remained in place for five days, unharmed.

They will now be planted as an orchard in Denis Burke Park and in other designated areas of the town, near the Convent Bridge and at the east end of the new Greenway, in conjunction with local schools and groups.

A specially-commissioned short film by Clonmel woman Eimear King, ‘Clonmel’s Apple Treasures’, was produced and premiered at the South Tipperary Arts Centre, where the exhibition was hosted.

It can now be viewed on YouTube (Apple Treasures-Lady Applepip Trailer). The film documents the hunt for apple stories in the Clonmel area and includes stories about working in Dowd’s Lane and the lost sport of "dudding", i.e. orchard thieving.

Through this project, 2cando Arts hope to continue the planting of apple and other edible and bee-friendly trees and plants to contribute to the biodiversity of Clonmel, and to explore the potential of including apples into the annual heritage festivals of Clonmel.

Any feedback or comments can be left on the Facebook page: Clonmel Apple Treasures or by e-mail to 2candoarts@gmail.com.

This project was made possible by Creative Ireland funding and a Tipperary County Council Arts Office grant, as well as the kind patronage of 17 local businesses who each "adopted" a tree.