There are a number of reasons why Clonmel is recognised at home and abroad . It used to be the biggest inland town in Ireland . The Tenor Frank Patterson came from Clonmel . Years ago when I was on holidays in Butlins a few lads from Finglas that I met in the video arcade knew Clonmel because one of their brothers was spending six months in Ferryhouse . But the main thing that Clonmel is famous for is Bulmers Cider .
Bulmers is a high quality product which commands a slightly premium price in its market . Whilst many Munster rugby supporters enjoy consuming copious amounts of it whilst watching their team in action , those on a more limited budget such as the social welfare allowance seem to favour other brands such as Scrumpy Jack and Linden Village . I never knew this before working in a bike shop , but here is how I became an authority on such things .
We have a pair of brothers who are regular customers of ours . Whilst they are both in their thirties , they both still live at home with their parents and older brother . Work is a four letter word which is rarely used and other forms of activities are implemented to pass the time . For the sake of the story we will call them Alfie and Andy . The most popular way to pass each day for the brothers is to drink cans of cider .
As cider cans take up much of their time , many other things become related to the cans . A set of lights for €29 is referred to as 14 cans , a new gear cable is 4 cans and a rear tyre and tube is 16 cans .
The first can of the day can sometimes be cracked open at breakfast time and occasionally can be followed quickly by many more if stocks are good .
One day at 11 am Alfie wobbled into the shop and immediately began recounting the events of that morning . The eldest brother had turned on a stereo around 8 am and Alfie had shouted down the stairs for him to turn it off at that hour of the morning . The brother lowered the volume slightly but did not turn it off . Alfie then informed the ‘ignorant bollix’ that if he didn’t turn it off straight away he would come down and do it for him . The stereo remained on so Alfie got up , went down the stairs and sorted it out once and for all . He grabbed the stereo dragged it outside and ‘ bet it with a coal shovel’ . He then started up the lawn mower and tried to roll over it but it got jammed and he ‘made shit of the lawnmower’ . Then his mother came out and ‘ate him but said nothing to the other bollix who started it all’ . There was nothing for it but to skip the corn flakes and go straight for the cans . He grabbed a bag with 12 cans that were for ‘later on’ and headed off down to the quay . I could make out 2 cans in the plastic bag and gauged that it was quite possible that Alfie could have consumed the other 10 given his condition .
The shop was starting to get busy and I was trying to move him on without agitating him further but just as I had manoeuvred him towards the door he turned and asked ‘ Will you give me a cuddle ?’ . That was the straw that broke the camels back and cans or no cans I had to leave him in no doubt as to where I thought he should go with his request . We didn’t see him for a few weeks after that .