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Joyce fans to mark Bloomsday online

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PJ Murphy of Sweny's

PJ Murphy of Sweny's

PJ Murphy of Sweny's

It will be a Bloomsday like no other as Joyceans around the globe swap plans to celebrate the festival in Dublin with an online version instead.

The Bloomsday festival, a celebration of James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses, normally sees thousands flock to the capital on June 16 each year.

Joyce fans dress up in Edwardian-style costumes and congregate in the city centre where they follow the route taken by Leopold Bloom on the same date in 1904.

Soap

However, due to Covid-19, most activities have been cancelled or moved online.

Sweny's pharmacy on Lincoln Place is a key location for Joyceans as in Ulysses, Leopold Bloom visits the chemist to buy face cream for his wife and buys a bar of soap for himself.

PJ Murphy, managing director of Sweny's, said the chemist will be open for those hoping to buy the special soap.

"We'll have two of our volunteers outside and they will allow maybe two or three people in," he said.

During lockdown, Sweny's began conducting book readings online through Zoom.

PJ said the virtual readings have become very popular with fans all over the globe.

Darina Gallagher, director of Bloomsday festival, said a great effort has been made to make sure Bloomsday is still marked despite the health crisis, a move that has been welcomed by Joyce fans.