There'll be no time to waste for amateur horologists everywhere with the opening of Ireland’s only museum dedicated to the subject.
The Irish Museum of Time, which officially opened in Waterford today, showcases the oldest and finest Irish clocks and watches in the world.
Forming part of the Waterford Treasures suite of museums , it's housed in a former neo-Gothic style church in the Viking Triangle in the city.
The collection has come about in large part because of David Boles, Colman Curran and Elizabeth Clooney, who have gifted their lifelong collections to Waterford Treasures. Speaking at the launch David said, “I have been collecting old Irish clocks and watches since I was fifteen, driven by the fact that the technological genius of their makers was not at all appreciated in Ireland and indeed was always undervalued. It is a real joy to know that these collections will be kept together and appreciated by visitors to Waterford.”
“I’m very proud to witness the official opening of a museum dedicated to Ireland’s horological heritage," added Colman, "and to see my own lifelong collection form part of this wonderful new offering for people to explore. The museum is not only a collection of clocks and watches but also a place to discover the story and the science of time. It is great to see our dream of a national horology museum – which this is – become a reality.”
Director of the Museum of Treasures, Eamon McAneaney, is supremely proud of their showcase: "This is the finest collection of Irish timepieces in the world. Waterford Treasures is proud to celebrate the incredible skills of the virtuoso craftsmen who, since the seventeenth century, created timepieces of remarkable beauty and technological genius.”
The collection is not limited to Ireland, also on display are early European timepieces, the earliest dating back to 1551, along with clocks and watches from Switzerland, England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, USA, Canada, Russia and as far away as Japan and Australia.
Set out over two floors, visitors can enjoy a self-guided experience at the new Irish Museum of Time with interactive displays showcasing the story of the museum’s significant pieces.
The museum was officially opened on Monday evening by Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan and Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan.
According to Minister Noonan: “This wonderful new museum celebrates the work of craftsmen at the forefront of technology from all over the island of Ireland over the last 300 years. In their day timepieces were the equivalent of today’s computers and the creativity of their makers could be a source of inspiration for our tech-savvy young people.
"I am delighted that my Department was in a position to support this remarkable initiative and a wonderful example of generosity and philanthropy.”
The Mayor added to the praise for the donors, thanking them for their generosity. "This state of the art museum is a marvellous addition to Waterford’s cultural offering and the city now boasts five award-winning museums. I would like to thank the two collectors and benefactors – David Boles and Colman Curran – for sharing not just their collections but also their lifelong passion with the general public.”