Thursday 18 July 2019

'Ulysses' fans re-Joyce with Bloomsday breakfast

Enjoying a walk along Dún Laoghaire pier during the Bloomsday Coastal Festival were Sandymount siblings Bronwyn (8) and Macdara (3) Boyd and cousin Lilah Maher (7), with their parents, Stephen and Mary Boyd, and Cameron Boyd (6). Photo: Mark Condren
Enjoying a walk along Dún Laoghaire pier during the Bloomsday Coastal Festival were Sandymount siblings Bronwyn (8) and Macdara (3) Boyd and cousin Lilah Maher (7), with their parents, Stephen and Mary Boyd, and Cameron Boyd (6). Photo: Mark Condren
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

It's not easy to make nutty gizzards, kidneys and sheep's heart sound appealing but Michelin star chef Kevin Thornton was on hand in Glasthule, Co Dublin, to make Leopold Bloom's famous breakfast that bit tastier.

As the annual celebration of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' kicked off around Dublin city, the Bloomsday Coastal Festival was in full swing in the seaside suburb, with locals decked out in straw hats and waistcoats.

On offer were liver and kidneys, as well as traditional Irish sausages.

Thornton had breadcrumbs and egg at the ready to coat the liver, while his expert advice for cooking kidneys was to soak them in milk to sanitise any remnants of urine.

"I'm doing a simple liver and breadcrumbs and kidneys, and the most important thing is to put them in milk to draw out the urine so you don't get that smell, that's the problem," he explained.

Seaport couple Derek and Ger Neylon didn't brave eating the offal but were enjoying brunch together.

Derek (63) is a true Joycean aficionado, saying he had in fact managed to finish 'Ulysses'.

"The secret is reading it aloud," he said.

Cressida Lynch with her daughter Astrid (2), from Wicklow, at the Bloomsday Coastal Festival. Photo: Mark Condren
Cressida Lynch with her daughter Astrid (2), from Wicklow, at the Bloomsday Coastal Festival. Photo: Mark Condren
Cooking liver at the Bloomsday Coastal Festival, Kevin Thornton and Michael Hogan. Photo: Mark Condren
A high note: Visitors enter the spirit of things at the Bloomsday Coastal Festival with straw hats and waistcoats. Photo: Mark Condren
A suitably attired Joyce fan. Photo: Mark Condren

"I definitely didn't finish it in one sitting."

The festivities continued up on the Martello Tower at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, with many revellers making a splash. Still dressed in his traditional garb, Alex Marcquis (40) took a dip with pals in the popular bathing spot.

Meanwhile, the Boyd and Maher family were the picture of Joycean Dublin, with siblings Bronwyn (8) and Macdara Boyd (3) and cousin Lilah Maher (7) enjoying a spin in a 1900s perambulator, pushed by six-year-old Cameron Boyd.

"We've come every year since Bronwyn was six months old," said dad Stephen Boyd.

The family had enjoyed the morning in town and were planning on visiting the Martello Tower before heading to Glasthule for food.

Elsewhere in the city, a re-enactment of the funeral procession of Paddy Dignam from the 'Hades' episode of 'Ulysses' took place in Glasnevin Cemetery.

This was followed by a Joycean tour of the famous graveyard which has many significant links to Joyce's life and writing.

"Several of the characters from the book 'Ulysses' found their final resting place here, including Paddy Dignam, Michael Cusack, the citizen, and even Joyce's own father John Stanislaus," said chief executive of Glasnevin Trust Aoife Watters. "It's wonderful to be able to host this event here today, honouring the great James Joyce, and the masterpiece that is 'Ulysses'."

Last night, at the Laughter Lounge, punters were invited to take a step back to 1904, a time when the Monto area of Dublin was Europe's largest red-light district. The surreal and energetic 'Circe' episode of 'Ulysses' unravels on Nightstown's streets and there were thrills and theatrical performances aplenty at the Eden Quay venue for a "Bloomsday Blowout".

In Parnell Square, it was Bloomsday with an artistic twist as crowds embraced their inner creatives in a body-paint session.

People were invited to paint themselves to depict the captivating imagery of Joyce, who exquisitely describes the Dublin food scene in his iconic work.

Irish Independent

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