Where the Arts meet – in Clonmel

At the recent launch of the Junction Festival 2023, were Liz McGrath (Clonmel Borough District), Helena Tobin (STAC Director), Cllr Richie Molloy (Mayor of Clonmel), Clíona Maher (Junction Festival Director) and Cllr Michael Murphy.

Junction Festival 2023 kicked off last weekend in Clonmel, with a fabulous Festival Hub on the new Kickham Civic Plaza, and a wealth of events in a range of venues across town. The Civic Plaza is hosting everything from morning yoga to a pop-up restaurant, and has a wide range of things to do from morning to late.

The Festival Dome has proved to have found its perfect home, and Fishamble’s Pat Kinevane opened the 2023 theatre programme there with two sold-out performances of his new play King.

“It was fantastic, a moving and stunning one man show,” said festival-goer, Gerry Lawless.

The dome theatre programme continues all week until Sunday, July 9th.


Just across the plaza, the Piano Sessions venue at the new South Tipperary Arts Centre Chapel venue was a huge success with concerts by Roger Doyle, Eamon O’Malley and Finding A Voice over the weekend.

“We’ve programmed lots of different genres – classical, jazz, pop, folk, electronics. The piano is such a versatile instrument and we’re really celebrating that,” said Festival Director, Cliona Maher. “We’re delighted to have another venue to partner with the Arts Centre in, and we’re looking forward to welcoming music audiences here all week”.

At South Tipperary Arts Centre original gallery space on Nelson Street, the wonderful social space created by Broken Fields collective, has drawn praise from visitors.

“It has transformed the gallery, and is such an intriguing and inspiring environment,” said Cliona. “People have the opportunity to make things, read things, lots to look at, and we’re looking forward to a second set of workshops and talks on Saturday 9th.”


The visual arts have proven a popular element this year. On Friday – Festival Eve – the Art Trail that went from John Kennedy’s new exhibition of painting ‘This Will Be A Long Time Ago’ at the Main Guard, to the Narrow Space gallery’s group show ‘Art Enriches Life?’ (where the stories that accompany the artwork is an enriching experience in itself), finishing at Tipperary Museum of Hidden History’s Eugene de Leastar exhibition ‘Oh, the Allegory’.

“The great thing is that everyone who wants can do the Art Trail in their own time when they’re in town, either to attend a festival event, or just to do their shopping!” says Cliona.


The two festival productions which opened last week continue through to the end of the festival. Mulcahy’s Bar continues its long festival association as it hosts ‘FOUND’ by Aideen Wylde, a wonderfully quirky celebration of folk traditions and personal discovery. Meanwhile, over at the Central Technical Institute opposite the Plaza, it’s proving the ‘central’ of its name by hosting a youth theatre production, two Music Generation Tipperary summer camps and the Festival production of Hucklebuck which has been delighting audiences.

With over 70 events, many of them free including the nightly Clonmel Originals Music Trail in local bars and restaurants, there really is something for everyone at the 2023 Clonmel Junction Arts Festival.

To book, go to www.junctionfestival.com or at the box office at 3 Parnell Street. Tickets also available on the door.