Enniskerry Clock Tower Romance

This year’s Journal features local stories and people. The articles will be published online in advance and the compiled Journal will be available from September in paperback. This first article is from Fr John Wall.


In the summer of 1932 two Belfast-born girls, Angela and Molly, had recently moved to Dublin. Their new friends wanted to show them the beauty of the surrounding countryside – so, naturally, they took them on an outing to Enniskerry.

Sure enough, the young women were entranced by the beauty of the place and now in the sunshine of that Sunday afternoon, while waiting for the return bus, they sat looking up at the clock tower in the centre of the village and wondered what the letters MDCCCXLIII might mean.

Their query was overheard by two young men who were standing behind them, Michael and Myles who, in the fashion of the day, were dressed to the nines in plus-fours and cloth caps. Both young detectives from Dublin Castle and they too were  on the outing with some friends.

Michael spoke up in his Cork accent “The M is a tousand” he said “and the D is five hundred. Then,  the three Cs make three hundred. So we add all that up: one thousand plus five hundred plus three hundred – that makes 1,800. Now the XL is a bit tricky – because, you see, X means ten and L is 50 but you subtract the ten from 50, so XL is 40, OK? Good. Now III is three, as you’ll see on a clock. So the entire number is 1000 + 500 + 300 + 40 + 3 which equals 1843 – the year the clock tower was built”

“Smart fella!” exclaimed Angela admiringly. Michael blushed. He was smitten. By a happy, planned coincidence they got sitting close to each other on the bus back to Dublin.

And so began a life-long romance. Three years later Michael Wall and Angela Casey were married in Dublin – their best man was Myles Saul and the bridesmaid was Molly Parkes Keenan.

My sister and brothers are very familiar with this story because we heard it frequently as young children when were taken on Sunday drives to the hills – usually via the clock tower in beautiful Enniskerry – by the lovers themselves, our parents, Angela and Michael Wall.

Fr. John Wall is Parish Priest at Clondalkin.

6 thoughts on “Enniskerry Clock Tower Romance

  1. Denise

    what a wonderful story about your time in the village. I remember Miss Lange when we were growing up there. It must have been Elsie the daughter, she was an elderly lady when we knew her in the 70’s. We used to love the fish pond she had and we were amazed by the grapes she had growing in a glass house attached to the side of her house.

    It’s lovely to hear of your memories.

  2. it was great to read about Enniskerry, I was born in Enniskerry in 1950 .My name is Pat Troy, as a child my friends were Tommy and Johnny Mc Nulty.. The Bog meadow was our playground.

  3. Hi Pat

    Troys was the best sweet shop in the world! A real old fashioned sweet shop. Much better than the imitation one’s that have popped up around Ireland these days. Many “quarters” of bulls eyes and Bon Bons were bought there by myself and the other children of Enniskerry. Lovely memories of it. ÚNA

Leave a Reply