Clonmel is the county town of Co. Tipperary and covers an area of approximately 11.59km2 and is situated on the River Suir with the Comeragh Mountains to the South and Slievenamon Mountain to the northeast. According to the latest Census (2011) Clonmel has a population of approximately 18,000.
The name Clonmel derives from the Irish name Cluain Meala meaning honey vale or honey meadow which probably refers to the fertile soils of the area. The River Suir has been a major influence on the town's development, a fact reflected in the town crest showing a bridge across a river with three fish underneath.
Clonmel has a rich historical past with one of the earliest references to the town being made c1205 when William Fitzadlem de Burgo was granted Lordship of the Manor. Clonmel grew significantly in medieval times and many remainders of this period can be found in the town. In 1319, Edward II authorised the raising of money to complete the town walls and fortifications. Under a Royal Charter granted by James I of England, Clonmel became a free borough in 1608. Cromwell laid siege to the town in 1650 and the town walls were eventually breached. By 1805 a permanent military base was established in the town with the completion of Kickham Barracks. In the early twentieth century the Labour Party was founded in Clonmel by James Connolly, James Larkin and William O'Brien.
There are many interesting buildings in the town including Old St. Mary's Church built in the 13th century, the Main Guard built circa 1675 as a Palatinate Court House, the Town Hall, Franciscan Friary and the old Wesleyan Chapel which now houses the White Memorial Theatre to name but a few.
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