Iris Charles Centre’s stylish Bloomsday

Pictured above: James Joyce, creator of Leopold Bloom.

Pictured above: James Joyce, creator of Leopold Bloom.

The third annual Bloomsday Breakfast at the Iris Charles Centre, Newbridge Avenue, Sandymount, was a great success this year. The event, which was organised by the Iris Charles Bloomsday Committee, is now the highlight of Sandymount’s celebrations of one of its most famous former residents.

About fifty people attended, all dressed in their best period ensembles, which added greatly to the merriment of the occasion. Readings and entertainment were provided by Rodney Devitt, Glynis Casson, Eleanor Devitt and Claire McElvanney, as the diners tucked into to their bacon, sausages, mushrooms, and ‘urine scented kidneys’, all washed down a refreshing glass of Bucks Fizz, or tea for the designated drivers and the faint hearted.

NewsFour had the pleasure of breakfasting with some of the volunteer readers from Sweny’s Chemist, which is described in splendid detail in the book Ulysses. The group, who read excerpts of the novel for visitors from around the globe every Thursday and Saturday morning, included Cecilia Fox, Ita Lawler and her husband Fergus and the very elegant Josephine Russell from Clontarf, who lamented the relative lack of interest in Joyce from younger audiences in Ireland, compared to the many young students from other countries who make their way to Sweny’s to pay homage to the great man.

The breakfast was followed by a one-hour guided walking tour around the three areas in Sandymount that feature in Ulysses and was led by Rodney Devitt. At 11 o’clock they joined other fans of Joyce on the village green, where Senator David Norris read some more excerpts from Ulysses and officially launched day-long celebrations which featured readings and recitals of Joyce’s works, as well as performances of songs he wrote.

The entertainment was provided by Claire McElvanney, Fred Lawlor, Eleanor Devitt, Glynis Casson, Anthony Jordan and Rodney Devitt, who compered the event.

By Jennifer Reddin