The future of Newman House


Sir, – Doireann Ní Bhriain reports that “Newman House is now to be transformed into the Ulysses Centre, a venue for the celebration of Ireland’s literary tradition” (Weekend Review, July 25th).

UCD and the people of Dublin should reject this name change, which does violence to history. I am sure that Joyce himself would be horrified by it. Steeped in the writings of Newman, which he quoted to beautiful effect in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and deliciously parodied in Ulysses, he declared that “nobody has ever written English prose that can be compared with that of a tiresome footling little Anglican parson who afterwards became a prince of the only true church”.

UCD vice-president Padraic Conway laboured mightily to have Newman remembered in UCD and he made Newman House the venue for significant theological events.

To forget this theological background would be to amputate the identity of UCD and reduce a historic corner of Dublin to theme-park status. – Yours, etc,


Roche Chair for

Interreligious Research,

Nanzan University,