Clonmel in County Tipperary is a town in caught between modern progress and ancient traditions.
Clonmel on the River Suir in County Tipperary is town at the crossroads of change. Controversy arose when the town’s municipal theatre became a bingo hall. Given the way social life has changed in Clonmel, if the theatre was revived, would there be an audience for it anymore?
Another dispute has arisen over the future of old buildings in the town, such as the Main Guard, a seventeenth century building in the very centre of Clonmel; and the nineteenth century West Gate which separates O'Connell Street from Irishtown, the old historic suburb of Clonmel.
Some shopkeepers and business people believe the West Gate cuts them off unfairly from the main part of town and sees it as a handicap to development and progress. The West Gate is also in a poor state of repair. Tom Reilly is chairman of a committee that proposes to take over and preserve the Gate. He disagrees the West Gate divides town and this will be borne out when western side of the town develops.
Another resident of Clonmel is novelist and playwright Una Troy, who has also written under the name Elizabeth Connor and is married to Dr Joe Walsh. To date she has completed eight books, four plays for the Abbey Theatre, short stories, serials and collaborated on a film script. Clonmel and the surrounding countryside are inspirational to her work.
I think one of the most wonderful things about writing is that you can escape from the worries of everyday life, and you go away into a world own, where can make all your characters do exactly what you want them to do.
This episode of ‘Discovery’ was broadcast on 16 March 1967. The programme was produced by Colm O'Laoghaire the presenter is by PP O’Reilly.