DCSIMG

Bell now a greater worry

John F. McGee and John Branley at the face of the town clock in Ballyshannon on Sunday morning which was damaged by lightning on Thursday evening Photo Thomas Galagher INDP 1702 Town Clock TG28

John F. McGee and John Branley at the face of the town clock in Ballyshannon on Sunday morning which was damaged by lightning on Thursday evening Photo Thomas Galagher INDP 1702 Town Clock TG28

While much of the emphasis has been put on damage to the face of Ballyshannon’s iconic clock it now transpires that its famous bell is under threat.

The Donegal Democrat has learned that two of the straps which secure the bell on the tower have also been damaged leaving the bell in a precarious condition.

John F. McGee who spent over four days last weekend at the scene while he waited for the high winds to ease confirmed that the bell had been damaged.

Speaking to this newspaper McGee said, “The main focus over the last few days has been on the “toothless face” of the clock but regrettably the bell has incurred severe damage which has to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“John Quinn of Quinn Crane Hire is now investigating how we can actually get at it - it is a more complicated job than the actual face and will probably require a platform of some description.”

When the initial incident happened on Thursday evening last John had a crane on site on Friday morning but with the winds at such high speeds health and safety regulations prevented any work being done.

“Between the damage incurred on the face and the bell and the cost of re - instating them, this could run into thousands of Euro.

Mary Gallogley who owns the building with her husband Reggie said, “ We are totally devastated by the whole thing, it was such a shock. I am not the better of it since . The clock was part of our lives and now as we sit and look across the river it is gone.

“This is going to cost a lot of money to put it right and to be perfectly honest we cannot afford to do it. I am hoping that some of the state agencies will step in.

Cllr. Sean McEniff said, “This is a Protected Building and I will be raising this matter with urgency at Council level.

“This is one of the most iconic buildings in the county and I will be proposing that the council takes over the running and maintenance of the clock.”

 
 
 

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