Martina Devlin: Why the Buck stops here for all lovers of Joyce
Some of the questions from visitors flocking to the re-opened Joyce Tower are easy to answer. Ones with dates and numbers in them, for example: James Joyce left Ireland in 1904, the walls of the Martello tower housing a museum to him are 8ft thick, 'Ulysses' was published in 1922, he died aged 59.
Others prove trickier. "How many people who come here haven't read 'Ulysses'?" asked a man in a snappy blazer which the dapper Joyce would have appreciated. He supplied his own answer in the next breath: "About 99pc I should think."
But visitors will have read some sections of the novel, or may be familiar with the story's broad outline, or at least know it was regarded as a dirty book for decades (although never formally banned in Ireland). And perhaps if they haven't read it, they might be inspired to pick up a copy after a visit to the Martello tower -- where Joyce lived for less than a week, but recreated in his imagination for that memorable scene in the opening chapter of his opus.