Letterkenny Town Clock

Letterkenny Town Clock

The town clock was erected by landlord John Robert Boyd in 1858 at the top of the Market Square, giving the locals a time to set their pocket watches by for almost 100 years. The Londonderry Sentinel from 18th December 1857 informs us of the construction of this clock, as well a general description of the town at the time:

“It is gratifying to see the spirit and energy with which the inhabitants of Letterkenny carry on the improvements of that important town. Last year the lighting of the town was accomplished in a very handsome manner, the gas being of superior quality. In the next place, every effort is being made to promote the cleanliness of the town. A new fair has been established on the last Friday of each month, in addition to the old fairs. John R Boyd Esq. is gradually extending market accommodation – a want that has long been felt; and he is further about erecting a handsome town clock in the market square, which place has of late been vastly improved.”

The clock was tumbled and replaced by a shop in the 1950s. Well known local character ‘Toal’ McGrath is said to have held a raffle for the clock and when the winner came to collect the prize, he said “There she is, take ‘er with ya!” In the 1988 Christmas Annual, Fear Feasa (Liam Conaghan) recalled a poem written about the clock when it stopped working:

“The years are long, since I’ve heard her gong

At Rabbles, Feis and Fair

As, from the tower, she showed the hour

The Clock in the Market Square”