The spectacular Irish Museum of Time was officially opened in Waterford on Monday June 14th by Minister Malcolm Noonan TD. The museum is the only horological museum on the island of Ireland and boasts the finest collection of Irish watches and clocks in the world.

The Irish Museum of Time is located in the heart of the Viking Triangle in Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Housed in a former neo-Gothic style Methodist church built in the 1880s, the new museum makes the fifth attraction in the Waterford Treasures suite of museums.

The spectacular Irish Museum of Time. Photo: Patrick Browne

Commenting on the official opening, Minister Noonan said:

“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 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 a wonderful example of generosity and philanthropy.”

Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan said:

“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.”

In an extraordinary gesture of generosity and philanthropy, David Boles, Colman Curran and Elizabeth Clooney 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.”

Colman said:

“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.”

Speaking of the launch of Ireland’s newest museum, Waterford Treasures Museum Director Eamonn McEneaney says:

“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. Tickets are available to pre-book at at €5 per person.