From the Papers and What’s On

A Hero of Civil Rights

This is how we remember him.

Austin Currie, one of the founders of the Social and Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) in Northern Ireland, died on Nov 9 at the age of 82. After his work with human rights in NI, starting with a sit-in in 1989, he moved to Dublin where he joined Fine Gael and represented Dublin West in the Dail from 1989 to 2002.

Tidy Towns 2021

Ennis Co Clare was declared the winner from the 847 entrants for the 2021 competition. The winner of the Tidiest Small Town went to Abbeyleix and for the Tidiest Large Town to Cobh.



At a time when Victoria is worried about 1000 new cases of Covid each day, Ireland, with a similar population, has more than three times as many. And a new rule imposed from the start of December requires that students in Grade 3 or higher must wear a mask in school.

Women Admitted

Royal Dublin golf club in Bull Island, Dollymount was the last men-only golf club in Ireland. In early December, it announced that its members had voted to open the club to ‘all genders.’

What’s On

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Celebrate a Centenary of Ulysses with Love’s Bitter Mystery at Villa Alba

Bloomsday in Melbourne, 1-12 February 2022 coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s famous novel Ulysses. See website for details and link to booking page. It is already strongly booked, so get in early to secure your place.

Nature of the Event: Bloomsday in Melbourne returns to live theatre with a new immersive play, Love’s Bitter Mystery: The Year that Made James Joyce written by Joyce buff Steve CareySet in the atmospheric post-gold-boom mansion and gardens at Villa Alba in Kew, the production focuses on a critical year in the young author’s life and how he used episodes in his own life in his novels, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses.

The original director of this show, Jennifer Sarah Dean of the Melbourne Shakespeare Company, comments: ‘I’m so excited by the setting,’ says Dean. ‘You really feel you’re right there in the room with the young Joyce and his fictional alter ego, Stephen Dedalus, as he experiences some of the most dramatic, formative, moving and intimate events of his young life. We can’t wait to bring it to you!’ 

Since starting rehearsals, Jennifer has been head-hunted to be the Australian Director of Moulin Rouge, so the show is her concept and design and she is working closely with an exciting new Associate Director, Carly Ellis. Carly may be familiar to you as lead actor and theatrical realisation star from Voyage, the musical based on Liz Rushen’s research into Bounty migrants, at fortyfivedownstairs in 2020

The play centres on a crucial period in the young author’s life, 1902-1904, during which Joyce exiles himself from Ireland, travels to Paris, but is called home to spend time with his sick mother, and eventually, on the streets of Dublin and against the odds, meets Nora, the love of his life.

When: 1-12 February at various times. Audience sizes are small (currently 18 per show) for Covid safety and Victorian Covid-regulation-compliant, so please book early to secure your place. The Seminar (on Joyce and the Women) and Annual Dinner will be held on 1 February 2022 at Studley Grounds restaurant across the road from Villa Alba, exactly 100 years to the day of its publication.

More Information and Booking Details :