Friday, December 09, 2022

The brand new ‘Tempus Fugit’ clock, with wings spanning six metres, will be unveiled on December 21 (the Winter Solstice) at the Irish Museum of Time. 

WATERFORD City will mark the Winter Solstice with a special celebration on Wednesday evening, December 21.

At 8pm that evening, the celebration of the shortest day of the year will be marked on the Plaza. This will be followed at 8:15pm by the official unveiling of ‘Tempus Fugit’ (Time Flies) by Mayor John O’Leary (FF), accompanied by horologists Colman Curran and David Boles, along with a Fáilte Ireland representative.

The clock, designed by Cork-based artists Eithne Ring and Liam Lavery and created by Waterford’s Keating Fabrication, is an elaborate design featuring wings spanning about six metres with the wings made up of seven steel dials each. It will chime on the hour and once the sun sets, visitors can admire the colourful lighting on both the wings and the main clock face.

The public has been invited to join the occasion where the new clock will be unveiled following a performance by the Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum Band at Greyfriars.

This is also the second year the Winter Firedance which celebrates the Winter  Solstice. There’ll be dancing on the William Vincent Wallace Plaza from 8pm culminating a spectacular ‘Skydance’ Fireworks display at 9pm. Following the clock’s unveiling, once the chimes complete a countdown to the fireworks at 9pm the city will be alight as the Winter Solstice is celebrated.

Said Waterford Museum of Treasures Director Eamonn McEneaney: “Over 7,000 years ago, our first farmers celebrated the Winter Solstice as a major turning point in the year. It heralded longer days and the beginning of a new cycle of growth.

“As Ireland’s only Museum of Time, we are delighted to continue to celebrate the Winter Solstice and its significance to timekeeping. The sun has always been tremendously important to the telling of time and for centuries watch and clock makers have relied on it to calibrate their timepieces. We would like to thank David Boles, co-founder of the Irish Museum of Time, and Fáilte Ireland, without whose support this sculpture would not have been possible.”

According to Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals and Events at Fáilte Ireland: “The new clock being unveiled on December 21 is part of Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation project, ‘City of Lights’ in Waterford City, which is due to launch in 2023. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and this project will bring old tales to life in new, innovative ways, so they can be enjoyed by visitors, as well as the local community.”

In addition to the Quayside celebrations, the Winterval Festival will remain open late until 9:30pm on December 21.

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