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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Celebrations mark Joyce centenary
Joyce fans in costume
Joyce fans dressed up to honor the novelist
More than 1,300 people have gathered in Dublin for the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, marking the day James Joyce's classic Ulysses was set.

Irish President Mary McAleese joined lovers of the book for the centenary.

In Ulysses, the main character, Leopold Bloom, sets out on an epic walk around Dublin on 16 June, 1904.

Fans have travelled to Dublin from all over the world, including pilgrimages to Joyce's house to join in with the centenary celebrations.

Philip Joyce, a grand-nephew of the author, walked more than 160 miles over five days to attend the famous breakfast gathering, raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

"I decided to do it rather than stand around looking pretty," he said.

"It is a little bit different and they are more than welcome to anything I can do."

Crowds throughout Dublin celebrated James Joyce on the anniversay of his masterpiece.

The breakfast featured food in keeping with Bloom's love of "the inner organs of beasts and fowls" as described at the start of the book, at a cost of 12 euros each (7.88).

It recreated chapter four of the book, where Bloom cooks a mammoth breakfast for himself and his wife Molly, including mutton kidneys.

"We've found that mutton kidneys aren't terribly popular. We have some available, but they tend to end up in the bin," said Helen Monaghan, a grand niece of Joyce who runs the James Joyce Centre.

'World class festival'

The events have attracted many tourists influenced by the 1922 literary classic.

"Over a year ago, we set out to create a world class festival that would appeal to everyone from literary neophytes to Joycean scholars," Irish Arts, Sport and Tourism minister John O'Donoghue said.

"The response has been wonderful and the great thing is it doesn't end on Bloomsday."

The celebrations have been planned for some time, said the James Joyce Centre's Lisajane Duffy.

Dressing up

"Some people have been in contact with the centre about the centenary celebrations for the last three years," she said.

Readings from the book - which recounts Bloom's day spent walking around the centre of Dublin - will be performed by TV host Gay Byrne, playwright Gerry Stembridge and musician Ronnie Drew.

James Joyce's nieces
Joyce's three great grand nieces, (L-R) Chris, Nicole and Sabrina Joyce joined the celebrations

The readings will also take place on the streets of Dublin, with a cast of actors dressed as characters from the book.

The Davy Byrne's pub on Duke Street, where Bloom enjoyed a glass of Burgundy and a gorgonzola sandwich, is preparing for a surge in visitors.

"We normally get 150 people on Bloomsday but we're expecting double that amount this time," said manager Frank Doyle.

Joyce, who wrote Ulysses for his eventual wife Nora Barnacle, wrote of the city in such detail that he claimed if Dublin was ever razed to the ground it could be rebuilt from descriptions in the book.

Fans descend on Joyce's Dublin
16 Jun 04  |  Entertainment
Cheat's guide to Joyce's Ulysses
16 Jun 04  |  Entertainment
Dublin holds Bloomsday breakfast
13 Jun 04  |  Entertainment
Ireland set for festival of Joyce
11 Jun 04  |  Entertainment
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08 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
Author Doyle slams legend Joyce
10 Feb 04  |  Entertainment

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