A small silence on Bloomsday


Madam, – “Sweny’s in Lincoln Place. Chemists rarely move.” Walking up Westland Row on June 16th, 1904, Leopold Bloom was confident of finding Sweny’s open, as it had been for the previous 51 years. This Bloomsday, for the first time, Sweny’s was shut. The pharmacist, Martina Quinn, and her sister, Carmel, retired earlier this year, and so they will no longer be dispensing “sweet lemony wax” soap as they have done every Bloomsday since 1973. The pharmacy at No 1, Lincoln Place, is gone, despite its “beaconjars too heavy to stir”. The future of the Georgian building in which it was housed is unclear. Some will have noticed this small silence at the heart of Bloomsday 2009, but most will not. How easily we Dubliners discard our heritage. – Yours, etc,


Senior Lecturer,

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

University of Dublin,

Trinity College,

Dublin 2.