Saint Bartholomew’s Church tower houses a clock and bell structure with a carillon that was built by Gillot & Bland and installed in 1881. Both the clock and bells are protected architectural features and they have been part of the soundscape of Ballsbridge for many years. When they were installed a prayer of dedication was read:
Grant, O Lord, that those who by the strokes of this clock shall be reminded of the ceaseless march of time, may of Thee be taught to number their own days, and so to apply their hearts to that holy and heavenly wisdom whilst they live here, which may in the end bring them to life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thine Only Son, Our Lord. Amen.
Sadly, in 2013, the ceaseless march of time ground to a halt, permanently changing the soundscape of an area that had been present for generations. In 2009 a complaint was made to the Dublin City Council office of Environmental Health regarding the ringing of the bells throughout the night hours. After consultation with a qualified horologist, the vestry of the parish endeavoured to install a mechanism to silence the bells between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am. Sadly this mechanism failed twice during 2009 and 2013 and concerns were raised about ongoing damage to the clock and bell structure and the tensions created by the mechanism. The Environmental Health Office demanded that we either fix the mechanism or turn off the clock and bells permanently, and gave us no other possible option in seeking a solution.
It is with great sadness that the vestry had to come to the conclusion after seeking legal advice, to turn off the clock and bells, but we do hope in the future to find a satisfactory way forward with the clock and bells being part of the historic soundscape of Ballsbridge once again.