Junction Arts Festival in Clonmel had "something for everyone"

Eamonn Wynne


Eamonn Wynne



Junction Arts Festival

There was plenty of entertainment on Mitchel Street, Clonmel, at the Camida Street Parties during the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival

The curtain has come down on another successful Junction Arts Festival in Clonmel.

An estimated 20,000 people, including locals and visitors, enjoyed a varied programme that included live music, theatre, street performance, comedy, visual art and food events.  

The festival, now in its 18th year, ran for a week and its success was a source of great pleasure for Nollaig Healy, who took over as festival director towards the end of last year. 

"I was delighted with the week, really pleased. It couldn't have gone better", she said.

"We had a really great team, including the board of directors and staff, who rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in”, she said, while also thanking the sponsors.

"There was a good atmosphere and a great buzz around town all week. 

"Our volunteers were also great and helped in the running of a festival that had something for everyone".

Above -  The award-winning Tumble Circus entertaining the crowds in Denis Burke Park during the Family Fun Day at the Junction Festival.

Street parties were held in Mitchel Street on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The parties were free but ticketed and 500 people attended each day.

A Family Fun Day was held at the Denis Burke Park on Saturday, as the week of sold-out shows and exhibitions began to wind down.

The Home-Grown Heroes series included a gig by Ruairi de Leastar at Old St. Mary's Church, and which Nollaig Healy described as “phenomenal”.

Local band Pale Rivers, who have enjoyed an amount of airplay on Today FM, were another significant addition to the Home-Growns series with their gig at Mulcahy's. 

The audio-promenade show Listen and Breathe at Raheen House Hotel was another big hit as was Spliced, a one-man show about a GAA player who becomes an actor, and which was staged at the hurling wall at the GAA Centre at 10.30pm for two nights.

There was no shortage of local involvement. John Kennedy staged an exhibition entitled Verlassen (the German word for dereliction) at the former Kickham Barracks; Olwyn Lyons created a dance piece The Age of Influence; while Eve O'Mahony staged the play The Bold Bridget Cleary.

James Earley, whose family came from Clonmel, painted three murals - one in front of Ss Peter and Paul's Church, where an ancestor had installed a piece of stained glass; one opposite the South Tipp Arts Centre and another near Channon's Forge in Anglesea Street.

Above - Richard Kennedy and sons Louis and Ollie had a great time at the Family Fun Day at Denis Burke Park during the Clonmel Junction Festival.

Local woman Kate Twohig performed at different venues with her pop-up piano bar, while Metaperceptual Helmets, a group of Parisian-based artists, included Anne Cleary, whose mother hailed from Clonmel.

Olivier Award-winning Pat Kinevane provided another highlight with his Trilogy of one-man shows at the White Memorial Theatre.

"A lot of people really bought into the festival and some even went to a few different shows each night", says Nollaig Healy.

"We also brought back the community projects and there were a lot of engagement with the schools and community groups".

Planning will soon start for next year's event, with September 6 the deadline for applying for Arts Council funding.