100 year anniversary of Joyce’s Ulysses – the Grange connection

On this day 2nd of February 2022, the world celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the publication of Ulysses by James Joyce. Sylvia Beach founder of the wonderful Shakespeare & Company in Paris, recognised the importance of the the work that had been turned down by many to finance the book on what was Joyce’s 40th birthday.

Did you know however of Joyce’s connection to the local area. Joyce became friends with George Clancy who was born in Grange, Co. Limerick during their time studying languages at what is now University College Dublin. Clancy who would later be elected Mayor of Limerick was fatally shot along along with the previous Mayor, Michael O’Callaghan on the night of March 6, 1921..

James Joyce (Standing Second from left) & George Clancy (Seated with Mortarboard)
Graduation UCD 1902 – Image courtesy of UCD Special Collections- Curran Papers

In Joyce’s ” Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” the main character Stephen is essentially considered an alter ego of Joyce and many of the events in the book mirror his real life events with inspiration coming from his own. It is the character of Davin that is thought to be based on Clancy. Portrayed as a University friend’s of Stephen, a handsome athletic student from the countryside who is a devoted patrionist, which he encourages Stephen to adopt.

Clearly a special friendship was developed between them both forever linking Joyce to the little town of Bruff and Grange.

Plaque outside Clancy’s Bar & Restaurant Bruff recognising the friendship

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