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Dublin: 14°C Monday 14 June 2021

A Joycean time capsule: This former Dublin chemist's shop has barely changed in more than 100 years

The pharmacy opened in 1847 and was in business right up until 2009.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

SMELL ALMOST CURE you like the dentist’s doorbell. Doctor Whack. He ought to physic himself a bit. Electuary or emulsion. The first fellow that picked an herb to cure himself had a bit of pluck. Simples. Want to be careful. Enough stuff here to chloroform you. Test: turns blue litmus paper red. Chloroform. Overdose of laudanum. Sleeping draughts. Lovephiltres. Paragoric poppysyrup bad for cough. Clogs the pores or the phlegm. Poisons the only cures. Remedy where you least expect it. Clever of nature.

THESE ARE SOME of the ruminations of Leopold Bloom, as outlined in Ulysses, when he visits Sweny’s pharmacy at Lincoln Place in Dublin on 16 June 1904.

The business described in James Joyce’s iconic novel is still in existence today, but serves a very different purpose.

The pharmacy opened in 1847 and was in business right up until 2009 – but remains largely unchanged since Victorian times. Volunteers, horrified at the thought of losing such a unique gem, swooped in to preserve it.

Now, it is home to a registered charity, holding daily Joyce readings and funding themselves through sales of second-hand books, curios, and the famous lemon soap with Mr Bloom buys in Ulysses. 

It has recently faced a rent hike, with the volunteers now appealing for help in meeting the shortfall.

Watch the video above for our full report.

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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