Here’s How Bloomsday Is Being Celebrated In Your County


A JOYCEAN welcome to you all, on this fine June 16th! Although 2020 presents us with a very different climate in which to celebrate Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses, every county around Ireland has adhered to at least some traditions that Leopold Bloom himself would be proud of! Here’s how this literary masterwork is manifesting itself in your county:

Dublin: Covid-19 be damned! Bloomsday is going ahead as normal in the capital, following a special injunction that deemed the celebration ‘an essential part of life’. With fears that the cultural impact of cancelling Bloomsday would cripple the arts in Ireland for decades, thousands of straw-hatted Joyce fans are set to take to the streets today, holding placards with the slogan ‘Bloom’s Life mattered’. Check out RTE 1 today for live-streaming from the Ulysses route!

Antrim: Minimal celebrations are being observed in Belfast, thanks to objections by the DUP to what they call ‘papist filth from the Free State’. People are being advised to instead read The Livid Libel of the Scriptures of Truth: An Exposure of the So-called Bible in Everyday Language for Everyone by the Reverend Ian Paisley. 

Armagh: Diesel smuggling has ceased for the day in honour of Leopold Bloom’s journey through Dublin in the 1900s, and will instead spend today smuggling bicycles and kidneys.

Carlow: Local student James Kennelly, the one who goes to Trinity and thinks he’s great, will spend most of the day reading Ulysses in a location where he feels the most people will see him.

Cavan: Today marks the day when the county’s single copy of the book gets passed over to a new person to read. This year, it’s the turn of Seamus Farrell, who’ll ‘look at it if he has the time’.

Clare: Local woman Eithne Whelan will, as is tradition each year, attempt to get her book club to ‘crack into’ the 750 page book, and will be, as is tradition each year, shot down in favour of something a bit easier, as everyone’s in the club for wine and gossip rather than actual reading.

Cork: Corkonians will once again celebrate their county’s own, heavily edited version of the tome, which focuses only on the shite parts of Dublin, and instances where Bloom laments living in such a dump.

Derry: Attempts to get any sort of Bloomsday celebrations going in Derry/Londonderry have fallen apart at the stage where an agreement has to be made on whether the city is called Derry or Londonderry, as is the case with most things in Derry/Londonderry.

Donegal: We cannot confirm if or how Donegal is celebrating Bloomsday as all communications were lost with the county 6 months ago. They could be shaving Joyce’s face into the side of cattle for all we know.

Down: Down will abstain from celebrations yet again this year, claiming that they have, emphatically, ‘no time for that shite’.

Fermanagh: Local man William Stanley will make his yearly joke on Twitter about how he much prefers Ulysses 31, a short-lived cartoon from the 80s best known for its admittedly excellent theme song.

Galway: The Galway Film Society plays host to the world premiere of Michael Bay’s Ulysses 3D, starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Stephen Dedalus.

Kerry: The day will serve as a bitter reminder to Kenneth Hallington that his English degree, as his parents warned him, turned out to be a massive waste of time. He did, however, smoke a lot of weed in college and have sex four times, so it wasn’t all that bad.

Kildare: Eager to get to Dublin to celebrate Bloomsday, a large contingent of Bloomers will instead have to make do with a re-enactment on the Naas road due to heavy M50 traffic.

Kilkenny: Having unsuccessfully scanned the book for any sign of hurling, Kilkenny has opted to pass on Bloomsday.

Laois: Local try-hard Sean O’Malligh will make his annual statement about how ‘Portrait Of A Young Artist’ is the superior Joyce work, before being milled out of it by a roving pack of armed Bloomers.

Leitrim: Leopold Bloom, a local man who happened to be named after Joyce’s famous character, will spend the day telling people to ‘fuck away off and not annoy him”.

Limerick: Bloomsday celebrations in Limerick have been cancelled due to lack of arts funding, as all money in the county is being saved to appease the whims of multinationals in the area. It’s more important to keep them happy, Joyce would surely agree.

Longford: Special celebrations are to take place in Longford, which many believe would be where Leopold Bloom would live today, having been duped by an estate agent who assured him that Mostrim was ‘within driving distance to Dublin’.

Louth: 18 people have been admitted to A&E in Drogheda after trying coddle for the first time. “It’s burning me up inside”, one was heard to scream.

Mayo: The anniversary of Leopold Bloom’s trip through Dublin and the subsequent literary masterpiece it spawned is enough for a group of local Mayo lads to go on ‘an absolute mad one’ with cans in the park.

Meath: Senator David Norris, known as ‘Captain Bloomsday’, has opted to stray out of Dublin into Meath to see how Bloomsday travels around the country. It is a decision he will greatly regret.

Monaghan: Castleblaney man Eric McMahon has started his day with a wank and a fry, although it’s unclear if this is affiliated with Bloomsday as it’s pretty much how he starts every day.

Offaly: Local woman Carol Fanning has set the day aside so she can listen to RTÉ’s reading of the book. This will last until about lunchtime, when she will switch to re-runs of Come Dine With Me.

Roscommon: Roscommon still has not read the book, and will make a statement about how they ‘must get around to it someday’.

Sligo: Ulysses celebrations are being eschewed for the first ‘Normal People’ festivities, with Sligo playing home to people looking to re-enact Connell and Marianne’s romance. Expect GAA shorts and a lot of moping about the place, as well as driving around town with your fast-melting frozen goods melting in shopping bags in the back of the car.

Tipperary: Will this year be the year Dennis Manning gets further than 20 pages into the book before quitting? You just never know!

Tyrone: A massive event is planned to see if international competitive eater Hans Ulafson can break the record for most fried kidneys eaten in a 24-hour period.

Waterford: Nothing is happening. Ulysses is still banned in Waterford.

Westmeath: Fancying himself a ‘bit of a Joyce’, local man Timothy Sanders will today finish the last chapter of his first novel ‘Passions Of A Planeteer; The Erotic Jouneys Of Xlaxon-49, Sexbeing’.

Wexford: Using Bloomsday as cover, thousands of Dubliners flee to holiday homes in the sunny south east. “It’s in the book”, they yell at guards.

Wicklow: General moping around is the order of the day here, with a lot of staring, musing, rambling, and general stream-of-consciousness babbling. Experts point to a gas leak in Bray; officials are en route.