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Monday 19 February 2018

500 celebrate in town of writer's murdered friend

Barry Duggan

NO longer are Irish Bloomsday celebrations confined to the capital for the cosmopolitans.

One of the country's biggest celebrations of James Joyces' landmark novel 'Ulysses' was held in a small town in south Limerick yesterday on a glorious sunny day.

Up to 500 people, of all ages and sizes, gathered in Bruff, Co Limerick, to celebrate and remember the world-famous author.

The event was organised by the Sean Wall Committee of the Bruff Bloomsday Society.

One of the chief organisers and participants, Donal Thurlow, said it was the most significant Bloomsday celebration outside of the main event in Dublin.

He explained the reason why Limerick was commemorating Bloomsday.

"George Clancy was the Mayor of Limerick who was murdered by the Black and Tans in 1921. However, he was a friend of Joyce's from their time spent together in Trinity and one of the characters in the book, Madden, is based on George Clancy," Mr Thurlow said.

"As everyone knows, the Clancys came from Bruff and that is the reason we are having today's event here," Mr Thurlow said.

Throughout yesterday morning, horses and carriages paraded through Bruff in a bid to recreate a more historic time.

A Bloomsday breakfast was held at the local Church of Ireland and bargain hunters were delighted to find penny apples sold on the street.

"Fr Joe Foley is doing one of the readings and we had recitations throughout the day. Children, men and women were in costume and the weather was absolutely fantastic," Mr Thurlow added.

Irish Independent

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