Sunday, June 12, 2016

BLOOMSDAY 2016


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Bloomsday as a public occasion didn't start to take off until 1954 when a number of Dublin literati made a pilgrimage out to Joyce's Tower in Sandycove. It has slowly caught on and with performers like David Norris coming on the scene it really took off in more recent times.



Bloomsday 110th Anniversary @ Martello No.7 (2014)
(l-r) Niall O'Donoghue, David Hedegan (RIP) and Felix Larkin

Not being a literary type, and prepared to admit that I have never read Ulysses, the day never made much of an impression on me until, very much into later life, I started taking an interest in Martello Towers, mine being principally in No.7 Killiney Bay.

The day then took on a more personal commemorative interest when I realised that it was on that day in 1946 that Gordon Brewster, artist and cartoonist, died in my mother's shop in Howth, and it was on that day in 1948 that my grand-aunt Margaret died in Portrane Asylum, having been there for thirty years.



SKIN-THE-GOAT by Senan Molony
Leeson Lounge, Bloomsday 2016 @ 9pm - all welcome

Despite the emotional loading of the occasion I have no plans to attend any event in particular though I did skim the programme out of pure curiosity. In the course of this I came on the above event where Senan Molony, currently political editor of the Irish Daily Mail, will be recounting the story of "Skin the Goat" (James FitzHarris) who was the driver for the assassins at the Phoenix Park Murders in 1882.

The connection with Bloomsday is apparently Joyce's reference to Myles Crawford recounting the journalist Gallagher's scoop on the Murders. Not being a Joyce exegesist myself I'll leave you to disentangle the affair in this Chapter of Ulysses or you could always go along and hear Senan's version.



Unfortunately, Joyce didn't mention Albert Folens because, as he might have said himself, time didn't permit. Otherwise Senan might have thrown in, as a bonus, his own "scoop" on how Albert Folens was a Nazi, that is until the matter, as intended to be relayed by RTÉ in 2007, went to court and the claim was then reluctantly accompanied by some qualification. Nevertheless, Folens's reputation was truly assassinated and the reverberations are round to this day.

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