Bloomsday on the doorstep

BY Kathrin Kobus

Yesterday, on Bloomsday ‘The Citizens’ Breakfast’ team with Gráinne O’Kelly celebrated James Joyce’s connection with Shelbourne Road, adapted for the current regulation and with social distancing in mind.  

“Joyce lived in number 60 Shelbourne Road in June 1904 and we believe that it is from here that he set off for his first date with his future wife Nora Barnacle (who worked in Finns hotel – down the road).” It was the customary costume dress up affair for a short pop up appearance on Lansdowne Park Green and of course Shelbourne Road itself.   

Actor Damien Devaney and harpist Luke Webb were part of the team to give what Gráinne O’Kelly called a ‘taster performance’ that will hopefully be seen in full again next year.

“Luke Webb, we are so lucky to have him on board and magical to hear it played on the street against barracks wall. He played two tunes – the plaintive ‘Silent oh Moyle’ & one which everyone joined in with ‘Loves old sweet song’.”

We all know by now the importance of scrubbing our hands with soap so that James Joyce words of “Sweet lemony wax. Smell almost cure you like the dentist’s doorbell” read prophetic for 2020.  

The Aviva Stadium Community fund, CityLearning and Slattery’s Pub supported the production, albeit in this shortened form. Hopefully, 2021 can see a return to a Bloomsday experience not just for local residents, but passers-by, onlookers and curious tourists.