Usher’s Island and ‘The Dead’


Sir, – There is cause for serious concern about the condition of 15 Usher’s Island, Dublin, the setting for James Joyce’s story, “The Dead”. The house was sold in December 2017 to a purchaser who remains unknown. It now shows every sign of neglect.

Large weeds are growing on the steps leading up to the doorway, and the whole building has a decayed, uncared for appearance on the outside.

There is no reason to believe that things are any better on the inside.

One can easily foresee a situation where it is declared that the building is beyond repair and will have to be knocked down, as has occurred with many other Dublin premises.

Across the river, meanwhile, the long decayed Ormond hotel, setting for the “Sirens” episode in Ulysses, has been almost completely demolished, to make way for a new hotel. This is not a cause for complaint, however, as the building as it existed bore next to no relation to the hotel of Joyce’s time, other than the name and part of the location (it was much smaller back then). A small section of the building, which would correspond to the original premises, is apparently being preserved, and it is understood that the new hotel will acknowledge the Joyce connection. – Yours, etc,


James Joyce Centre,

Dublin 1.