Sunday 25 February 2018

Bruff residents proudly uphold Bloom traditions

Barry Duggan

ON A DAY of dappled seaborne clouds a small rural town abandoned its daily routine for a colourful celebration of Bloomsday yesterday, and revelled in the good weather.

The biggest commemoration of James Joyce's most famous work outside of Dublin was held in Bruff, Co Limerick where approximately 600 people remembered the world famous author.

It is the third year in a row that the people of Bruff attempted to recreate the life of their predecessors from more than a century ago in a tribute to 'Ulysses'.

"The weather held and we have had people dressed up in 1904 finery since the morning," organiser Donal Thurlow said.

The Bruff connection with Bloomsday is unique.

"James Joyce's best friend in college was George Clancy from Bruff," Mr Thurlow said.

"Mr Clancy became the Mayor of Limerick and was murdered by the Black and Tans in front of his family in 1921.

"One of the characters in 'Ulysses' is based on George and the Clancys still live here so we are delighted to be doing this."

Among those taking part in the celebrations yesterday was playwright Mike Finn and well-known 'Emmerdale' actor Liam O'Brien, who brought street theatre to the crowds.

A butcher's boy messenger race was also held in the village with the goods parcels from all bikes going to a barbecue.

"This is our third year organising this. We now have it extended to two days and it is the biggest event outside of Dublin," Mr Thurlow added.

Irish Independent

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