Documentary On Newstalk: Keeping Time

We explore the world of clock-making and watches, and meet those who keep them ticking!

This Easter weekend, as part of our Spring Season of Documentary on Newstalk, Producer Patricia Baker tells the story of Ireland’s unique way of dealing with time, as she explores the rich and diverse history of Ireland’s clocks and watches, that have been keeping time for us for centuries....

Ireland’s horology heritage is rich and diverse, but it is often unconsidered. In Keeping Time, Producer Patricia Baker asks us to stop for a moment and consider Ireland’s unique way of dealing with time:

Patricia Baker says: One of the most precious things I own is my father’s watch. I have never worn it but it lives in my jewelry drawer in a black velvet pouch. It has not worked since his death. This watch holds a lot of my father. It is not an uncommon story. Many of us can share memories of a watch, be it our own first watch, worn with the pride of being all grown up. Or like me, a parent’s watch inherited when they have passed away.

This story started with my dad’s watch and my quest to get the watch working again. But when I met the custodians of Ireland’s watches and clocks I became enthralled with the story of these timepieces and how they have evolved. It then became the story of Irish clocks that keep time in our cities and towns, the people who made them, wind them and fix them. This is a story about keeping time.

Listen Back to Keeping Time here:

Quotes from Keeping Time:

If we stand here at the spire, it is amazing the clocks you can see. They have stood the test of time, the street has gone through so many changes but the clocks have survived. The clocks are our heritage and they all tell their own tales.
Philip Stoke (Contributor to Keeping Time)

Sometimes you look at a clock and you wonder how did they make that, it is over 200 years old and it is just perfect, It is hard to share my excitement for this, it is nerdy.
Kevin Cheller (Contributor to Keeping Time)

The funny thing about time is that no one knows what it is. But we know how to measure it, Newgrange which is 5,000 years old, it could be called a time measuring instrument …/

/...From 1845 every time a train set off from London to Dublin via Holyhead, a man carried a pocket watch with the correct time, which he brought to the GPO in Dublin, to set the time of the clock there. He then brought the pocket watch back to London, and so time was carried backwards and forwards on the train from 1845 to 1931
David Boles (Contributor to Keeping Time)

KEEPING TIME will be broadcast live on Newstalk 106-108fm on Easter Saturday 15th April at 10pm, and repeated on Easter Sunday 16th April at 8am & Easter Monday 17th at 6pm

LISTEN LIVE ONLINE: Keeping Time can also be listened to online at:

PODCAST: Podcast available at: after the broadcast.

CREDITS: Keeping Time was produced, presented and edited by Patricia Baker. Editing and final mix by Gerry Horan, Contact Studio. Music composed by Gerry Horan. Royal Dublin Society records courtesy of the RDS Library, extracts read by actor David Herlihy. Keeping Time was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, with the Television License Fee