What's the Story?


Bloomsday in Dublin is as unique as this Dublin greeting. And the Bloomsday Festival’s theme for 2019 is What’s your story? The city is full of stories thanks to its rich heritage in literature, music and history. And we want to encourage everybody to share their own Bloomsday story with us this year. Celebrating the festival, you will come across passionate locals and volunteers who will be happy to share their unique Bloomsday tales with you and help you create your own.

PJ from Sweny’s Chemist, where Leopold Bloom bought his bar of lemon soap, is one of them. Here he is, sharing the story of this iconic location from James Joyce’s Ulysses:


And here is the story of James Joyce’s foray into cinema, told by Declan Collinge:


Every Dubliner has their own story about James Joyce, and no one more so than our best-known Joycean, Senator David Norris. Senator Norris has been at the heart of Joyce’s Dublin for nearly sixty years. For our Bloomsday Interview, Senator Norris will sit down with Irish journalist, RTE presenter and former newsreader Anne Doyle to discuss all things Joyce. The interview will take place in Joyce’s alma mater, Belvedere College.


You can discover more Bloomsday stories at events that have been a Festival staple with locals for years, such as the Bloomsday Messenger Bike Rally. Now in its 26th year, the annual Bloomsday Messenger Bike Rally & Lunch is one of the highlights of the Irish Youth Foundation's fundraising calendar. Starting at Stephen’s Green, participants cycle around the city on vintage bikes, many in Bloomsday attire.


The Voices of Joyce in the Teacher’s Club is another favourite haunt of Bloomsday revellers. Relive an Edwardian soirée in the premises in Parnell Square where James Joyce received singing lessons from Vincent O’Brien in 1904 in preparation for the Feis Ceoil. Ranging from tenor to soprano, baritone to beery “base barreltone” and everything in between, Songsters of the Square strive to reproduce the sounds and atmosphere of a Dublin Edwardian musical evening. Arias, popular music, gospel, music-hall and ballads nestle between readings from Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. This show, in various manifestations, (methimpikehoses) is celebrating its fifteenth Bloomsday.


We hope you get inspired by all these storytellers

and create your own Bloomsday story this year!

Marty Gilroy