My name is Maureen Purcell and I’m married, since 1966, to Pierce, a marathon runner, a musician and a retired German/English teacher from the High School, Clonmel, co. Tipperary, Ireland. We have 4 grown up children, all married, 2 boys in Ireland, and 2 girls, in the Uk and New Zealand and we have 9 fabulous grandchildren so far, all very Arty, Musical and Sporty as their parents are!
I am one of the Founder members of the South Tipperary Art Group, STAG, which is 53 years old this year,2021, and have been the Organiser also since the beginning. We have 40 + Adult painting members and approx. 60 Junior members from ages 9 to 17 years, and we operate from the Art Room, Ss. Peter and Paul’s Primary School in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
I attended the Waterford College of Art and Design through the local Central Technical Institute, in Clonmel and gained a First Class Honours in all of my Art exams. I taught Art/Craft/Design in both the Girl’s Loreto Secondary School and the Boy’s High School in Clonmel for 13 years while at the same time tutoring the Junior Art Members of STAG. This tutoring I do with 4 other tutors right up to the present day.
From 2012, for nearly 5 years, I was Voluntary Manager of the South Tipperary Arts Centre in Clonmel with support from another STAG member, Dolores Fennessy and a great IT specialist, Robbie Cantwell. Between the 3 of us and with backing from Tipperary Co. Council, we managed to get the Arts Centre from a condition of serious indebtedness, in danger of closing, to a vibrant Art Centre with enough funding to employ a paid Artistic Director/Manager. We in STAG, Clonmel, are delighted that the Arts Centre is now a thriving Centre open to the public at large.
With many other Adult Art Members I also paint murals, posters, backdrops and do lots of other art/craft/design, mostly for charity. As an Artist I have been painting in Acrylics, pastel, pen/ink and pencils for well over 50 years and my artwork has found its way to many foreign parts of the globe!
One cloudless summer’s day in 2018, I saw this blue and gold Hot Air Balloon lazily floating above my house in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, as free as a bird. It reminded me of the Freedom we now have in all aspects of our lives in Ireland, unlike many other countries, because of the selfless acts of our forbears. Freedom was gained at a very high cost indeed to many of our countrymen and women. I think it is imperative that we appreciate this hard fought Freedom for our country during the War of Independence and the conflict that ensued afterwards as divisive as this was! We are so lucky today to live in the Emerald Isle!