19 May 2022

PHOTOS: High time! Laois town clock hoisted into place after 160 years

One of the most architecturally important buildings in the Georgian town of Mountmellick in Laois has finally received the clock it was awaiting for nearly 160 years. 

Mountmellick Town Hall was designed and built in the mid 1800s. It is now owned by Mountmellick parish and rented out to local clubs and groups.

Over the past four years local resident Nina Horan was instrumental in getting the facade of the listed building carefully restored and last Wednesday July 28 she was on hand to see the clock hoisted into position.

"I see the town as an animate being and so I feel happy for it. As mad as that might sound, a town is a living breathing entity. Therefore it is sentient. This clock just feels like a little TLC and we all know Mountmellick deserves a lot of that," Nina told the Leinster Express.

The town hall was designed by architect William Caldbeck in 1863, with a space for a clock on its front.

The building is a protected structure and has been described by Richard McLoughlin, Conservation Architect as “one of the most striking in Mountmellick.”

Master clockmakers, father and son Philip and Robin of Stokes Clocks in Cork made and installed the new clock. 

Nina and her friend Cathy Bishop who took these photographs have also thanked local electrician Rob Molloy for giving his time free to install the clock.

Cathy praised her friend for her hard work on the iconic building.

"It's been a labour of love and a tale of pure determination with a collaborative grant application through Mountmellick Tidy Towns. Herself and I are of the same mindset- these small, but sometimes complicated ideas, are what gives the message out to the world that our town is important. She told me one time about a thing called The Broken Windows Theory. Now, we both see it as the basis to staying persistent in preserving what make our town great. It's the little things. Well done to Nina and all who helped her and Father Murphy PP for giving her permission. I hope she doesn’t go looking for the statues next," said Cathy. 

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