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Time-ly boost for Waterford with opening of Ireland’s first Museum of Time

Waterford hails world-class new attraction

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Kate Kirwan (age 7) at Waterford's Museum of Time. (Photo Patrick Browne)

Kate Kirwan (age 7) at Waterford's Museum of Time. (Photo Patrick Browne)

Pictured are the first visitors to the new Irish Museum of Time, twins Kate and Matthew Kirwan (age 7) officially opened in Waterford today by Minister Malcolm Noonan (Photo: Patrick Browne)

Pictured are the first visitors to the new Irish Museum of Time, twins Kate and Matthew Kirwan (age 7) officially opened in Waterford today by Minister Malcolm Noonan (Photo: Patrick Browne)

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Kate Kirwan (age 7) at Waterford's Museum of Time. (Photo Patrick Browne)

IRELAND'S oldest city is celebrating a 'time-ly' tourism boost with the opening of the country's first horological museum.

Waterford's new Museum of Time was officially opened in the city's Viking Triangle with the proud boast that it offers Ireland's finest collection of watches, stopwatches, clocks and time-measurement devices.

Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan launched the museum which is housed in a former neo-Gothic style Methodist church building dating from the 1880s.

The core of the exhibition is based on personal collections donated by benefactors including David Boles, Colman Curran and Elizabeth Clooney.

One exhibit will be a timepiece dating back to 1551.

The museum will be home to over 600 items set out over two floors - featuring the oldest Irish clocks along with an international collection from the US, UK, France, Austria, Switzerland, France, Japan, Russia and more.

It is hoped that the museum will add to Waterford's staycation appeal - and supplement other major cultural attractions in the Viking-founded city including the crystal showrooms, Waterford Treasures museum, Waterford Greenway and Mount Congreve Gardens.

It is the fifth museum opened in Waterford.

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“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," Mr Noonan said.

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Pictured are the first visitors to the new Irish Museum of Time, twins Kate and Matthew Kirwan (age 7) officially opened in Waterford today by Minister Malcolm Noonan (Photo: Patrick Browne)

Pictured are the first visitors to the new Irish Museum of Time, twins Kate and Matthew Kirwan (age 7) officially opened in Waterford today by Minister Malcolm Noonan (Photo: Patrick Browne)

Pictured are the first visitors to the new Irish Museum of Time, twins Kate and Matthew Kirwan (age 7) officially opened in Waterford today by Minister Malcolm Noonan (Photo: Patrick Browne)

"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 commend the two collectors David Boles and Colman Curran – it is heartwarming to see such extraordinary patriotism and generosity. The people of Waterford and indeed Ireland will be forever indebted to you. I am delighted that my department was in a position to support this remarkable initiative and wonderful example of generosity and philanthropy.”

Mayor of Waterford Councillor Damien Geoghegan said it was a major addition to the city's tourism and cultural infrastructure.

“This state-of-the-art museum is a marvellous addition to Waterford’s cultural offering and the city now boasts five award-winning museums.”

David Boles said he was delighted to gift his collection to the museum.

“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.”
Colman Curran said it was gratifying to see others derive enjoyment from a collection he had built up over his life.

“I’m very proud to witness the official opening of a museum dedicated to Ireland’s horological heritage 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.”

Museum director Eamonn McEneaney said it was a proud day.

“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.”


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