Bloomsday – 16th June each year

This is a great day to be in Dublin. It commemorates the day described by James Joyce in his famous book, Ulysees – 16th June 1904. There are many events arranged across the city. For example, in the morning there are readings at the Martello Tower in Sandycove, which is a beautiful village down by the sea just a few miles from the city centre and accessible via Dublin’s version of a subway, called the DART (although it’s not a subway – so you get great views of Dublin bay while you travel).  This is the opening location of Ulysees and Joyce actually lived in the tower for a while.

Wynns Hotel, in Middle Abbey Street, just off O’Connell’s Street, can be good. On the centenary, 2004, I attended a single act play there. It was based on the chapter (Cyclops) in Barney Kieran’s pub – that’s my favourite. It has loads of dialogue and it really makes you feel you are back in 1904 Dublin.

A fantastic archive of  Dublin photo’s, taken by Lee Miller in 1946 for Vogue magazine,  was recently discovered and has been on display at the James Joyce museum in Dublin city centre. This includes photographs of the interior of Barney Kiernan’s pub – long since demolished.

My usual itinerary on Bloomsday each year involves a stroll to the aforementioned Martello tower to hear some Joycean recitations and music of the Edwardian era. Then I repair to Fitzgerald’s Pub for some Joycean food, drink, recitations  and further singing(not all Edwardian).



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