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Bloomsday celebrations taking place in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Bray

Bloomsday breakfast, walks, talks, plays, music and a world record attempt – just some of the ways James Joyce is being remembered tomorrow. Here’s what’s going on.

Bloomsday celebrations taking place tomorrow
Bloomsday celebrations taking place tomorrow

JAMES JOYCE IS one of Ireland’s most loved and revered writers. To commemorate him and one of his great works, Ulysses, Bloomsday is celebrated every June 16.  This day is of importance as the events of the novel take place on this day (16 June 1904).

Chronicling Leopold Bloom’s day in Dublin, the novel features many well known places like Sandycove Martello Tower, Westland Row and Davy Byrne’s Pub. Festivals and events have sprung up over the years around the featured locations and are a great way to spend a Sunday. Here is a rundown of some festivals taking place:

Dublin

Many fans take to the streets of Dublin, following the route of Bloom in the book. You can kick of your day with a Bloomsday breakfast at Davy Byrne’s Pub. The James Joyce Centre on North Great Georges Street is celebrating Joyce all week and have scheduled many events including walking tours, theatre performances , live music, and talks. Here are some things you can head along to in the city centre:

  • Bewley’s Blomsday Breakfast, 10am -11.30am, James Joyce Centre
  • Blomsday Walk, 10am, James Joyce Centre
  • Bloomsday at the James Joyce Centre, 2pm – 6pm
  • Readings and Songs, 2pm – 4.30pm, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar

James Joyce

(PA Archive/Press Association Images)

Dún Laoghaire/ Glasthule/ Sandycove

After enjoying some breakfast in Dublin, you could hop on the train to Dun Laoghaire to continue the Bloomsday celebrations and even take part in a world record attempt. Taking a quirky twist on things, festival organisers want to get the largest gathering of James Joyces lookalikes in one location. It’s not just for men, women are welcome to come as Joyce or Molly Bloom.

People who wish to take part are asked to gather outside Dunphy’s Pub (beside Bloomfield’s Shopping Centre) at 1pm on Bloomsday, where gorgonzola sandwiches, as enjoyed by Mr Bloom in the novel, will be provided. Other events on the day include:

  • Alfresco Bloomsday breakfast from 10am until late (the entire Lower George’s St. will closed)
  • Vintage Street market with vintage amusements and vintage puppets reciting from Ulysses.
  • A complimentary vintage bus will bring visitors on the Bloomsday circuit from the centre of Dún Laoghaire to Joyce’s Tower and on to Sandycove and Glasthule.

Bloomsday in Sandycove/Glasthule

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(Image via Flickr/ William Murphy)

Bray

His  childhood home, James Joyce lived at Number 1 Martello Terrace, Strand Road from 1887 to 1891. The terrace was built in 1860 and is one of Bray’s best preserved buildings. The Christmas dinner scene in his novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man also took place here. Everyone is invited to dress up on the day in their best vintage gear. The Programme for the day is:

  • Official opening at 1 Martello Terrace at 10.30am. There will be readings, songs and stories from Joyce’s works, followed by a tour of the house.
  • The event makes it’s way to Bray Main Street up the Quinsborough Road, to Hollands Public House for the official midday brunch. There will be actors and musicians providing entertainment and brunch,will be accompanied by a glass of Stout, costing just €5.
  • At midday, Bloomsday in Bray cast, accompanied by musicians and singers will be performing on the steps of the church on Bray Main Street.
  • Afternoon tea and dance at the Royal Hotel at 2pm.
  • Brass band playing on Bray seafront bandstand 2.30pm-5.30pm.
  • Play and a reading of the Final Chapter of Ulysses at the chamber of Bray Town Council at 6.30pm.
  • A night of songs in honour of Gladys Sheehan and in aid of Bray Cancer Society will take place in the Martello at 9pm.


(Promotional video for Bloomsday Bray 2012/Vimeo)

Read: Look like Joyce? Well, get some Gorgonzola sandwiches and head to Dun Laoghaire>

Read: James Joyce in Paris: 4 things you may not have known>

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