This book is a sequel to Clonmel 1840-1900: Anatomy of an Irish Town, an earlier work by the same author. A span of thirty two years is but an instant in history. Yet those years, 1900-1932, contain within them major developments in the social and political history of Ireland. Observing how these developments unfolded in a local society can assist an understanding of the wider setting.
Clonmel provides a favourable observation-point. It is the capital of a county which played a leading role in the War of Independence and Civil War. As a garrison town it had direct experience of the Boer War and World War One. It was the seat of local government entrusted with responsibility for new initiatives in health and social welfare. Its industrial development, with one exception, was conditioned by its agricultural hinterland. The cultural and sporting pursuits of its inhabitants provide an insight to society history during the years 1900 to 1932.