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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

The Speaking Clock has told callers the time for the final time today

Eir shut down the nearly 50-year-old service, which still receives calls daily, today.

Image: Shutterstock/Anshan

THE SPEAKING CLOCK – the service that has told callers the time for decades – has officially shut down today.

Although it has experienced a great reduction in demand in recent years, Ireland’s Speaking Clock still receives calls daily, an Eir spokesperson told

Such a service became common in many countries in the middle of the last century, where someone could dial a number and a voice would tell them the exact time.

The Eir spokesperson said: “The Speaking Clock was initially established almost five decades ago and during its peak the service attracted close to three million calls annually.

Technology has moved on and the proliferation of mobile phones and gadgets has caused a steady, predictable decline in the numbers of people using the service.

It could be reached by dialling 1191 and, despite the daily calls it did receive, “it’s a very small number that does not justify maintaining the system,” the spokesperson said.

“Six months ago we began to let service users know, via the service, that the speaking clock will close, today, Monday 27 August 2018.”

The UK still has a Speaking Clock operated by BT. It even launched a competition in 2016 to find the new voice of the speaking clock.

Celebrities such as Lenny Henry, David Walliams and Ian McKellan have manned the line for the Comic Relief charity in recent years.

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Sean Murray

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