Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clonmel Chamber Meeting 21/01/2009

Wednesday night, I attended the Clonmel Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Minella Hotel. The topic of discussion was how to promote Clonmel in its various aspects; as a retail centre, tourism and heritage.

Jim Power from Friends First was to be a guest speaker, but had the flu so could not attend. He sent his Power Point presentation which Frank O’Donoghue reduced from approx. 45 minutes to 5 minutes without any loss of content or message!

A spokesperson from Failte Ireland who focuses on the South East said that as a tourism destination, Clonmel will only thrive for short term holidays but that we need to improve marketing Clonmel for it’s beauty and heritage.

The River Suir, Comeragh Mountains, town walls and the fine buildings of Clonmel are strong selling points. A marketing “hook” mentioned for the UK market, “Clonmel as the town where Cromwell suffered his first major defeat.”

It was suggested that a number of teams, staffed by volunteers would concentrate on three sectors.
Town centre retail
Tourism and heritage
Marketing and promotion

The 60 or so people attending were asked to indicate which area they would like to offer assistance in. Teams will be formed for 3 to 4 months at a time and will then pass the baton to other volunteers. It is hoped that this program will result in improved promotion of the town and a better business environment for all.

I nominated myself as interested in Town Centre Retail and Marketing/Promotion. It will be interesting to see if I get a call. Watch this space.
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  1. the gypsy, AustriaApril 14, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    Hello Pat
    I am a Clonmel exile but one who returns to Clonmel regularly to see family and friends (I just returned to Austria after a 10-day visit).
    I commend the Chamber of Commerce for trying to do something to promote Clonmel but without the full and active involvement of the community at large and the local corporation, the Chamber is wasting its time! Put simply, my last visit to Clonmel left me completely disheartened by the 'state' of the town. In short, Clonmel today has a hollowed-out, dying and in many places delapidated town a town governed by the a town with a major litter (have you recently visited Carey's Castle?...the litter there is shocking) and dog excrement a town with poor, missing or damaged tourist signage and a town with seemingly ad-hoc planning and development...a town basically without a vision. I am proud of my home town and have brought many visitors to Clonmel over the years but something radical now needs to take place, starting with a renewal of civic pride, to get the town to 'rescue' itself and to truly live its potential.

  2. Thanks for the comment gypsy. I have to agree that the corporation has neglected it's duties in many areas. Enough rates are collected from us ratepayers, but they seem to be put to little constructive use.
    In particular, the granting of permission for another large shopping development on the periphery of town, in a residential area, will suck more life out of the town centre. I am at odds with the Chamber here, they think it is a good idea. As a town-centre trader, I support the view that a vibrant town centre is paramount to any town.
    WRT signage, I think it is being addressed. It is very bad at present. Pedestrianisation is a topic being debated now also.
    We live in hope...