by Bernie Commins
A busy year of mayoral receptions, launches, travelling, officiating and smiling for the camera is almost at an end for Mayor of Clonmel Cllr Billy Shoer, who as member of the Workers and Unemployed Action Group (WUAG), had to wait for nine years to assume the role and the robes. But it was a memorable year which saw invaluable links forged between one of Clonmel’s closest twinned towns, Reading, visited by Mayor Shoer and a delegation from the sporting, cultural and business world of Clonmel earlier this year. This relationship, is very important for both towns according to Mayor Shoer, who hopes that the renewed link will only strengthen over the coming years.
Last February the mayor and a number of representatives from various sectors across Clonmel including town clerk Ger Walsh, CEO of Clonmel Chamber Brian Cleary, Tony Scully from Clonmel Town FC and David Teevan from the Junction Festival visited Reading. Mayor of Clonmel represented other clubs that were unable to travel including Clonmel Cycling Club, Clonmel Rugby Club and Clonmel Boxing Club and there have been a number of important outcomes as result.
Firstly Reading’s cycling club will be visiting Clonmel in August and participating in the successful, locally organised Suir Valley 3-Day cycling event, secondly it is hoped that Reading’s boxing club will visit Clonmel’s hugely successful club based in Elm Park, this October, and Reading Celtic are also visiting Clonmel Town this July. Additionally in the theatrical and arts arena, three acts from Reading will also be partaking in this year’s Clonmel Junction Festival and the director of the Reading Festival is planning to visit the Junction Festival this July.
“Important links were made through this trip,” said Mayor Shoer.
“We also developed 35 tourism packs which we distributed to clubs and organisations including the Town Hall in Reading, the Irish Centre, rugby club, and athletics club,” he said.
Clonmel Chamber also developed a relationship with the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Reading Chamber of Commerce, ensuring that all areas were covered - sports, tourism, business and the economy, the things that are of great importance for Clonmel’s future, according to Mayor Shoer.
While there Mayor Shoer was also interviewed on Berkshire Radio, and the Clonmel group’s trip made headlines in the Reading Post, Evening Echo and the Irish Post in London.
“We also met with Michael O’Sullivan from the local GAA there which celebrated 50 years in Reading this year and we look forward to them creating a link with football teams in Clonmel and local areas,” he said.