On the wide River Suir, Clonmel (Cluain Meala; 'Meadows of Honey') is Tipperary's largest and busiest town.
Laurence Sterne (1713–68), author of A Sentimental Journey and Tristram Shandy, was a native of the town. However, the commercial cheerleader for Clonmel was Italian-born Charles Bianconi (1786–1875), who, at the precocious age of 16, was sent to Ireland by his father in an attempt to break his liaison with a woman. Bianconi later channelled all his frustrated passion into setting up a coach service between Clonmel and Cahir; his company quickly grew to become a nationwide passenger and mail carrier. For putting Clonmel on the map, Bianconi was twice elected mayor.
Clonmel's centre sits on the northern bank of the river. Set back from the quays and running parallel to the river, the main street runs east–west, starting off as Parnell St and becoming Mitchell St and O'Connell St before passing under West Gate, where it changes to Irishtown and Abbey Rd (there's a handy map on a signboard near St Mary's Church). Running north from this long thoroughfare is Gladstone St, which has a number of hotels and pubs.
The East Munster Way passes through Clonmel.