Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bloomsday blow as Joyce firm shuts

Richie Taylor and Edel O'Connell

A 130-year-old family-run business which once employed iconic author James Joyce as a sales agent closes its doors for good today -- on Bloomsday.

The Dublin Woollen Mills has been situated on Lower Ormond Quay since 1931 -- after relocating from nearby Bachelor's Walk where it first opened in 1881.

Valerie Roche, who runs the shop, will close the doors for good at end of business today, before the building is sold.

On the wall of her second floor office, a large glass picture frame houses photographs of Joyce, along with a letter from the 'Ulysses' author to the company.

"To be honest, he wasn't a great salesman, but yes, he did work for the company for a good while," Ms Roche said.

Ms Roche said she was very sad to see the business close but said it was a "sign of the times".

"We're not doing it out of immediate financial necessity, but we can see the end," she said.

The Dublin Woollen Mills had become a landmark site in Dublin, especially after the sculpture of the two women shoppers sitting on a seat outside it and having a chat.

Meanwhile, events will be running up and down the country today to mark Bloomsday.

Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney is among more than 100 writers who are reading consecutively over 28 hours this weekend in an attempt to break the world record for the most authors reading consecutively at an event.

The event is running at the Irish Writers' Centre on Parnell Street in Dublin.

Leopold Bloom's famous Irish breakfast will be served at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin today, while lemon soap will be selling at the famous Sweny's pharmacy, which is featured in Ulysses.

Irish Independent

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