Here's a fascinating glimpse of the very first Bloomsday celebration, filmed in Dublin in 1954.
The footage shows the great Irish comedic writer Brian O’Nolan, better known by his pen name Flann O’Brien, appearing very drunk as he sets off with two other renowned post-war Irish writers, Patrick Kavanagh andAnthony Cronin, and a cousin of James Joyce, a dentist named Tom Joyce, on a pilgrimage to visit the sites in James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses.
The footage was taken by John Ryan, an artist, publisher and pub owner who organized the event. The idea was to retrace the steps of Leopold Bloom and other characters from the novel, but as Peter Costello and Peter van de Kamp explain in this humerous passage from their book, Flann O’Brien: An Illustrated Biography, things began to go awry right from the start:
Via Gerard Beirne