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Thursday 17 October 2019

WATCH: 'Honouring the masterpiece that is Ulysses' - James Joyce enthusiasts commemorate Bloomsday

(L-r) Donal and Suzanne Thurlow from Limerick and Dermot McElwaine and Caroline Coyle from Athlone arriving at The James Joyce Centre greeted by James Joyce
Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
(L-r) Donal and Suzanne Thurlow from Limerick and Dermot McElwaine and Caroline Coyle from Athlone arriving at The James Joyce Centre greeted by James Joyce Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Bloomsday Festival Director Jessica Peel Yates and Joyce lookalike and milliner John Shevlin at the James Joyce Centre Picture By David Conachy
Marcel Krone and Jo Johnston from arriving at The James Joyce Centre greeted by James Joyce played by John Shevlin Picture Conor McCabe Photography
Caroline Elbay arriving at The James Joyce Centre greeted by James Joyce played by John Shevlin Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
James Joyce lookalike John Shevlin visits the grave of the authors parents John Stanislaus Joyce and his wife Mary Jane during the annual Bloomsday event at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sorcha O'Connor and Michael McHugh

JAMES Joyce enthusiasts have arrived at Glasnevin Cemetery in full costume to commemorate Bloomsday.

The event included a costumed performance by the "Joyceanstagers" of chapter six, Hades, from Ulysses, which is set in the cemetery.

It was followed by a special Joycean-themed tour of the cemetery.

Bloomsday enthusiasts arrived in hired carriages and costume.

CEO of Glasnevin Trust Aoife Watters said: "Glasnevin Cemetery is very proud to have a special connection with James Joyce and Bloomsday.

"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.

"It's wonderful to be able to host this event here today, honouring the great James Joyce, and the masterpiece that is Ulysses."

Thousands of people come to Ireland for Bloomsday and it has expanded into a week-long event.

James Joyce lookalike John Shevlin visits the grave of the authors parents John Stanislaus Joyce and his wife Mary Jane during the annual Bloomsday event at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin
Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
James Joyce lookalike John Shevlin visits the grave of the authors parents John Stanislaus Joyce and his wife Mary Jane during the annual Bloomsday event at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Glasnevin Cemetery holds a special place for Joyce devotees.

In the Hades chapter, Leopold Bloom accompanied Simon, Stephen's father to Paddy Dignam's funeral and decided from then on to reject morbid thoughts and to embrace "warm full-blooded life".

A fully costumed performance of this chapter was performed by the "Joycestagers" on Sunday.

The enactment was followed by a specialised tour, led by Paddy Gleeson.

It took in historic graves on the way, including the writer's father John Stanislaus Joyce, along with the final resting places of a multitude of people from the novel, Ulysses, and from James Joyce's life.

The Glasnevin Cemetery Cafe also provided a Bloomsday-themed menu.

Ulysses follows the life and thoughts of Bloom, the central character and the novel, from 8am on June 16, 1904, through to the early hours of the following morning.

John Shevlin is a Joyce lookalike.

He said: "Bloomsday is a long day but a wonderful day."

Later on this evening at the Laughter Lounge, punters can take a step back to 1904, when the ‘Monto’ area of Dublin was Europe’s largest red-light district.

The surreal and energetic ‘Circe’ episode of Ulysses unravels on so-called Nightstown's fantastical streets and tonight, there will be 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-painting 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.

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