Five Years On, Ballyshannon Clock Shows It’s Face Again

Major restoration project almost complete.

A hands-on approach - Cllr Barry Sweeny at work on the new clock face

A hands-on approach – Cllr Barry Sweeny at work on the new clock face

A new face for Ballyshannon town clock is almost complete thanks to a huge community effort.
The clock was damaged beyond repair by a storm in 2014. But the community stepped up and began raising money for a new clock face.
Cllr Barry Sweeny who is a founding member of the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group has been involved in the project from the outset.
He said: “A few people got together and we talked about putting up a wooden face to make it look better. We started then to look at a metal face, and getting the hands back on. We went from that to deciding we may as well do the whole job and restore the clock properly.”

Ballyshannon clock tower at present

Ballyshannon clock tower at present

The new clock face stands 7’6” high and is made of long-lasting stainless steel.
Some of the mechanical cogs are still in place, while the clock is powered by an electrical unit.
“That all seems to be working,” said Cllr Sweeny. “But we won’t know for sure until we start to put everything together.
“One of the great things about this project is that it is being made locally by our talented craftspeople. We have the stainless steel face, the painting. The original clock hands were wooden and we have had new wooden hands made locally too.”

Built in 1878
The town clock was built in 1878 as the result of an agreement between the planning authorities and Belfast Bank. In return for planning permission, the bank’s owners agreed to construct the town clock.
The building was later occupied by the Royal Bank until an amalgamation with the Provincial Bank to form Allied Irish Bank in 1966.
The well-known Gallogley family operated a jewellery and clock business there until relatively recently.
They were in ownership of the building when the clock face was damaged, though it has since been sold to local businessman Eamonn McNulty.

Ballyshannon clock tower before it was damaged in a storm

Ballyshannon clock tower before it was damaged in a storm

(Source – Donegal Democrat – Siobhan McNamara – 12/10/2019)

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