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Museum Benefactors recognised at Civic Reception

Just over a year since it opened its doors, Ireland’s first horological museum has enjoyed a remarkably busy year, with visitors travelling from all over Ireland, Europe and the US.  Visitors have flocked to the Museum of Time at Greyfriars to see over 600 pieces that showcase the history of time.  The museum is in fact the most popular of all the five Waterford Treasures museums.

The creation of the museum is due to the foresight and generosity of its benefactors, namely David Boles, Colman Curran and Elizabeth Clooney, who were honoured with a Civic Reception at City Hall, hosted by the Mayor of Waterford City and County.

David Boles has donated many significant pieces to the museum, including the oldest Irish watch, bracket clock and a grandfather clock, dating to the 1680s.  He also donated the famous William Clement clock dating to 1663, the very first in the world to have an anchor escapement mechanism that made clocks more accurate and was subsequently copied by all clockmakers.

Colman Curran and his wife Elizabeth Clooney, who first mooted the idea of a museum of time back in 2015, donated their significant collection of museum quality Irish grandfather clocks, bracket clocks and watches.

Mayor of Waterford City and Council, Cllr. Joe Kelly welcomed the creators of the National Museum of Time to the civic reception.  “I am absolutely delighted to be joined by Elizabeth, Colman and David in order to recognise their extraordinarily generous contributions to Waterford and indeed the Irish nation, by founding the Irish Museum of Time.”

“Colman and his wife Elizabeth spent over thirty years collecting museum quality Irish timepieces.  The collections they donated give a revealing insight into the technical, scientific, social and political landscape of Ireland from the late 17th century through to the end of the 19th century.”

“David Boles collected clocks all his life. His donation of some of the oldest clocks in the world has been game-changing as it has given Waterford Treasures Museums not only some of the world’s finest pieces, but has also given the curators valuable insight into how watch makers and craftsmen created time pieces of accuracy and remarkable beauty.”

“The desire of David, Colman and Elizabeth to share their collections with the public has indeed been transformative for tourism in Waterford, borne out by the very recent article on the museum in the New York Times.”

Director of Waterford Treasures, Eamonn McEneaney added, “Working with David, Colman and Elizabeth has been one of the highlights of my career.  The creators of this museum came to us with openhanded generosity. There were no egos involved, their sole aim was to create a museum that featured the very best of Irish timepiece making.”

“What they have done is unique in Ireland – not only did they give their collections, but also their knowledge and the resources to refurbish the museum building and to conserve and display the objects magnificently. They also share their expertise very generously.  This level of philanthropy is reminiscent of Renaissance patronage.  Present and future generations owe them a debt of gratitude for their true patriotism. I would like also to recognise friends and stalwart supporters of the benefactors, people like Kevin Chellar from Dublin and Bertie McClure from Belfast who freely gave of their time and expertise to the project.”

The Irish Museum of Time is located on Greyfriars Street in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle. The refurbished gothic-style church is a fitting home for what is beyond doubt the finest collection of Irish timepieces in the world.

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