Dublin has long prided itself on its literary heritage and history, and perhaps no work has put Dublin centre-stage in quite the same way as Ulysses. Many of the locations from Ulysses are still with us today, while others are no more. Nelson’s Pillar was lost in rather dramatic fashion, but others have just been lost to redevelopment and the changing city.
The Ormond Hotel on the quays featured in the work, with Joyce setting Sirens (Episode 11 of the work) at the hotel, with Bloom dining there. The hotel has fallen into total ruin in recent years, and not too long ago the plaque connecting it to Ulysses vanished from the front of the building, something which set alarm bells ringing for many. The front of the building has attracted quite a bit of graffiti in recent times, including the rather mad ‘I ❤ SCALDY MOTS', which was there for some time and based on a quick glance online attracted more than a few camera shots.
Plans for a massive redevelopment of the site have fallen through. The Independent has reported that:
A €15m plan by investors including AirAsia boss and Queen’s Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes to demolish the capital’s Ormond Hotel to build a new hotel on the site have been shot down by Dublin City Council.
Mr Fernandes and shareholders in Monteco Holdings had wanted to construct a new five and six-storey property with 170 bedrooms in what would have been one of the latest plays by foreign investors in Dublin’s resurgent hotel sector.
But a number of well-known individuals and organisations voiced concerns over the plans by Mr Fernandes, including Mannix Flynn, Ciaran Cuffe and the James Joyce Centre.
My thanks to Luke Fallon for permission to reproduce his illustration below on the site today: