Friday 19th February 2021
The annual Bloomsday event at Glasnevin Cemetery took place on Sunday celebrating the life of Irish writer James Joyce. The event was marked by a costumed performance by the 'Joycestagers' of chapter six, "Hades", from Ulysses, which is set in Glasnevin Cemetery, followed by a special Joycean themed tour of the Cemetery. Bloomsday enthusiasts arrived to Glasnevin Cemetery in hired carriages and full costume.
Glasnevin Cemetery holds a special place for Joyce devotees, as chapter six, "Hades", from Ulysses is set in the grounds of the Cemetery. In the 'Hades' chapter, Leopold Bloom accompanies Simon, Stephen' father to Paddy Dignam's funeral and decides from then on to reject morbid thoughts and to embrace 'warm full-blooded life'. A fully costumed performance of this chapter was performed by the 'Joycestagers' who embraced the day and brought the world of Ulysses to life for those who attended.
The enactment was followed by a specialised Joycean tour, led by Paddy Gleeson, beginning outside the main entrance to the Glasnevin Cemetery. The tour moved throughout the cemetery taking in historic graves on the way, most notably the writer's father John Stanislaus Joyce, along with the final resting-places of a multitude of people from the novel, Ulysses, and from James Joyce's life. The Glasnevin Cemetery Café also provided a Bloomsday themed menu.
CEO of Glasnevin Trust Aoife Watters commented, "Glasnevin Cemetery is very proud to have a special connection with James Joyce and Bloomsday. Several of the characters from the book Ulysses found their final resting place here, including Paddy Dignan, Michael Cusack (the citizen) and even Joyce's own father John Stanislaus. It's wonderful to be able to host this event here today, honouring the great James Joyce, and the masterpiece that is Ulysses".
This special day is chosen as it is the day depicted in Joyce's novel Ulysses, which follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom, the central character of the novel, and other characters from 8:00a.m. on the 16th of June 1904 through to the early hours of the following morning.
We featured in the Irish Times round up from this years festival too.
We look forward to next year!