A chime of eight bells was installed in the tower of St. Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe in 1896. The Tower is a spacious one and all the bells are on the one level, the first five of the scale in one frame and the last three of the scale forming a second frame. In some towers where space is at a premium, bells are placed in frames above each other, making servicing more difficult. This chime was cast in 1896 my Matthew Byrne Bell Foundry, Dublin and is quite a light weight set of bells by most standards, the Tenor bell weighing about 9-cwt.
The inscription on the bells read as follows:
Treble and 2nd bells:
“M. BYRNE, FOUNDER, JAMES St. DUBLIN. 1896.”
3rd to 7th Bells (inclusive):
“M. BYRNE, BELL FOUNDER, JAMES ST. DUBLIN. 1896”
“M. BYRNE, BELL FOUNDER, JAMES ST. DUBLIN. 1896.
THIS PEAL OF BELLS IS ERECTED TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF THE RIGHT REV’d. WILLIAM BENNET CHESTER, D.D.,BISHOP OF KILLALOE FROM A.D. 1884 TO A.D. 1898.”
Apart from the chime of eight bells, the tower also contains a call-bell in a separate frame against the west wall of the belfry. The bell can be rung from the entrance to the Cathedral vestry when a bell ringer is not available to operate the chimes. This bell is older than the set forming the chime, being cast in 1837 and the following inscription appears thereon:
“NO SURRENDER. LIBERTY. J. FOGERTY, LIMERICK. 1837.”
The bell is badly chipped in one area, as if someone was making an attempt to raise the pitch at some stage.