Council expresses interest in Clonmel Friary following announcement of closure

Photo © Tipp FM

Tipperary County Council has expressed an interest in the Clonmel Friary following the announcement of its closure.

Earlier this month Fr. Aidan McGrath, Minister Provincial of the Irish Franciscan Order, issued a statement confirming that the church, would no longer be operational as of January 6, 2023.

The Friary which has been central to the town since 1269 announced their decision to close this month based on a lack of vocations and aging friars.

This was met with great sadness and disappointment by the community an indeed local councillors.

At the time Fianna Fáil’s Siobhan Ambrose said she had commenced engagements with the council to see if they would be in a position to start discussion with the Friars to see if Tipperary County Council would possibly be able to take over that building.

Following on from this, at September’s meeting of the Clonmel Borough District Mayor Pat English on behalf of the council expressed the upset they all felt at the closing of the Friary, thanked the staff and order for their work, and reiterated the council’s intention to support them in anyway.

It was highlighted by Councillor Niall Dennehy that a letter and thanks was unsatisfactory.

However, the executive said they were being proactive and had expressed their interest in exploring being involved in the Friary and keeping it open, however, they also highlighted that all involved needed breathing room for the time being.

This was echoed by Councillor John Fitzgerald who said he would be reluctant to get involved at this early stage.