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CLONMEL, a municipal borough and the county town of Co. Tipperary, Ireland, in the east parliamentary division, 112 m. S.W. from Dublin on a branch from Thurles of the Great Southern & Western railway, which makes a junction here with the Waterford and Limerick line of the same company. Pop. (1901) 10,167. Clonmel is built on both sides of the Suir, and also occupies Moore and Long Islands, which are connected with the mainland by three bridges. The principal buildings are the parish church, two Roman Catholic churches, a Franciscan friary, two convents, an endowed school dating from 1685, and the various county buildings. The beauty of the environs, and especially of the river, deserves mention; and their charm is enhanced by the neighbouring Galtee, Knockmealdown and other mountains, among which Slievenaman (2364 ft.) is conspicuous. A woollen manufacture was established in 1667, and was extensively carried on until the close of the 18th century. The town contains breweries, flour-mills and tanneries, and has a considerable export trade in grain, cattle, butter and provisions. It stands at the head of navigation for barges on the Suir. It was the centre of a system, established by Charles Bianconi (1786-1875) in 1815 and subsequently, for the conveyance of travellers on light cars, extending over a great part of Leinster, Munster and Connaught. It is governed by a mayor and corporation, which, though retained under the Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898, has practically the status of an urban district council. By the same act a part of the town formerly situated in county Waterford was added to county Tipperary. It was a parliamentary borough, returning one member, until 1885; having returned two members to the Irish parliament until the union.

The name, Cluain mealla, signifies the Vale of Honey. In 1269 the place was chosen as the seat of a Franciscan friary by Otho de Grandison, the first English possessor of the district; and it frequently comes into notice in the following centuries. In 1641 it declared for the Roman Catholic party, and in 1650 it was gallantly defended by Hugh O'Neill against the English under Cromwell. Compelled at last to capitulate, it was completely dismantled, and was never again fortified. Remains of the wall are seen in the churchyard, and the West Gate still stands in the main street.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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