herald

Sunday 26 May 2019

Dracula fever hits city, but no Stoker museum

DRACULA fever hits Dublin this week as the capital marks the centenary of horror author Bram Stoker's death.

A series of events have been lined up, including an atmospheric book reading at St Patrick's Cathedral.

But despite the massive local and international interest in Stoker, tourism chiefs have shown no interest in the Dracula creator's former home.

The three-storey Georgian property at 15 The Crescent in Clontarf remains on the market, with Gallagher Quigley having slashed the asking price from €750,000 to €570,000.

While there has been some private interest in turning the home into a Stoker museum, no official body has been in contact with the estate agent.



Gothic

"We've had regular inquiries and regular viewings. We've even had offers but not at an acceptable level right now," Peter Quigley told the Herald.

No one in an official capacity has been in contact about turning the property into a visitor attraction, he added.

However, "one or two" potential purchasers have looked at it "in a private capacity with that use in mind", Mr Quigley said.

He said it is a very attractive address, with a huge garden suitable for a family.

Stoker, who died in April 1912, created one of literature's most enduring characters, Count Dracula.

Having been born in Clontarf, the writer worked for 15 years in Dublin Castle and married Oscar Wilde's ex-girlfriend.

St Patrick's Cathedral will open its doors on July 4 for an "atmospheric evening", featuring actor Laurence Foster reading from Dracula and music on the cathedral organ.

The event has been organised by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.

Over the following two days, the Bram Stoker Centenary Conference will take place at Long Room Hub in Trinity College. It will look at Stoker's other works, including The Lair Of The White Worm and The Snake's Pass.

The conference will also consider Stoker's relationship to late nineteenth-century Ireland and especially Dublin.

Among the speakers will be biographer Paul Murray.

On Friday and Saturday, historian Pat Liddy, of Dublin Walking Tours, will lead Dracula enthusiasts on a gothic stroll around the capital.

"Ghostly or gruesome true stories will stalk you in Trinity College, City Hall, Dublin Castle, the medieval City Steps and the Brazen Head pub before entering the crypt of St Michan's where hundreds of bodies lie in final, mummified peace," Dublin City Council states.

The Little Museum of Dublin on St Stephen's Green will host a debate, to be chaired by RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan, on Stoker's gothic masterpiece Dracula, one of the most popular books ever written.

Full details of these and other events can be seen at www. dublincity.ie

comurphy@herald.ie

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