June 16, 1904. Bloomsday. The day of Leo and Stephen’s famous meander around Dublin. How would Covid-19 restrictions have affected it?
Firstly, Stephen wouldn’t be going to teach in the school but this would give him more time to mope around Sandymount Strand pondering the meaning of life.
Meanwhile, Leo could still nip out to buy a kidney for breakfast and afterwards would have all the more reason to go to a chemist to stock up on lemon soap.
He wouldn’t, of course, attend Paddy Dignam’s funeral – not being a relative – but the newspaper office would be open for him to call in about his bit of advertising business. Davy Byrne’s would be closed but he could probably get a takeaway cheese sandwich somewhere.
In the same way he wouldn’t be able to go for lunch in the Ormond Hotel.
The National Library would be closed so Stephen and Leo wouldn’t pass by each other there. Barney Kiernan’s pub would be closed but that would spare Leo getting into an argument with a fanatical Irish republican about what it means to be Irish.
Like Stephen earlier in the day, he would have more time to spend on Sandymount Strand and would certainly be able to sit on a rock and lust after Gerty MacDowell at a distance. At the end of the day though, I think that Leo would get Covid-19 after all because although his wife Molly spent all day at home we all know what went on when Blazes Boylan called around in the afternoon to “go over her repertoire”.
Oh yes, Boylan would be just the sort who would be asymptomatic and pass it on to Molly. Yes, definitely, and then Molly would pass it on to Leo. Oh yes, the more I think of it the surer I am of it. Yes, definitely, no doubt about it. Yes.
Dundalk, Co Louth
Sinn Féin MEP should look in mirror on voting for change
On Tuesday, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus was interviewed on Euronews and asked to comment on Ireland’s new programme for government. He used the opportunity to criticise the tentative coalition, arguing that the outcome did not deliver the change that people voted for in January.
The beautiful irony of all this seemed entirely lost on the former Sligo county councillor, who was appointed by Sinn Féin to fill the European seat vacated by former MEP Matt Carthy. Chris MacManus was dropped into the European Parliament without receiving a single vote for this role from anybody in Ireland.
If Chris MacManus wants to see a perfect example of a change that nobody voted for, he just has to look in the mirror.
Boyle, Co Roscommon
All citizens must make their voices heard to new coalition
Your editorial (Irish Independent, June 17) is very appropriate at this point in time.
The last paragraph is indeed pertinent, particularly, in a Republic: “Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf said governments are facing ‘fantastic levels of uncertainty’.
“All responsible public representatives must surely see this is a time to take power, not shy away from it.”
Every citizen should also see this as a time to empower themselves, by being more responsible in ensuring the new government takes immediate and drastic action on housing and health.
The time for casting a vote and then neglecting to voice an opinion has gone.
Leo channels inner Boris as he winds down time in top job
I note that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s hair has been becoming increasingly unkempt in recent photographs.
Is that because he wants to demonstrate compliance with the ban on hairdressers, is winding down in preparation for handing over the Taoiseach’s role, or because he is channelling his inner Boris Johnson? The people need to know!
Blessington, Co Wicklow
Discarded face masks being left to flutter in the breeze
The wearing of face masks has become trendy, but I find when the smelly things are discarded outdoors, the light blue side is often face upwards, fluttering in the breeze along the pavement, and temptation can often overtake me.
More than once I’ve pounced on one, thinking it’s a €20 note, and much to the amusement of onlookers and to my own horror, sees me regularly rushing home to decontaminate.
Put them in the bin.
Bantry, Co Cork